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Did Palin’s Email Hacker Break The Law?

September 18, 2008

I was hoping to see a WPPBA thread on this subject, so I thought I’d just throw it out there for the Alliance…

With all the buzz over this, I’ve seen plenty of claims on blogs out there that what was done here constitutes a federal crime.  What I haven’t seen, however, is exactly which law was broken.  I’ll admit that I’m no lawyer, and I’m still trying to figure this out, so I’m hoping that someone can help me in the comments section here. 

For the time being, I’ll start with what I know.  Via the much linked-to Malkin page, the pertinent part of the hacker’s “confession”:

In the past couple days news had come to light about palin using a yahoo mail account, it was in news stories and such, a thread was started full of newfags trying to do something that would not get this off the ground, for the next 2 hours the acct was locked from password recovery presumably from all this bullshit spamming.

after the password recovery was reenabled, it took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google to find the info, Birthday? 15 seconds on wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)

the second was somewhat harder, the question was “where did you meet your spouse?” did some research, and apparently she had eloped with mister palin after college, if youll look on some of the screenshits that I took and other fellow anon have so graciously put on photobucket you will see the google search for “palin eloped” or some such in one of the tabs.

I found out later though more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on “Wasilla high” I promptly changed the password to popcorn and took a cold shower…

So, the hacker was basically able to exploit Yahoo!’s password recovery system, reset it, and gain access to the account (quite easily, it would seem).  In other words, this person used the tools that Yahoo! itself provides visitors to its site, as opposed to something akin to a script kiddie “hack”.  (Nevermind what this says about Palin and/or Yahoo!’s ability to protect a password, I’m still trying to make sense of what law was broken. )

Remember that Yahoo! is basically a free email service, so to me, it would be unclear if anything that transpires on their servers is “owned” by Palin or anyone else who uses it.  I would think that you’d be at the mercy of Yahoo! and whatever their terms of service are.  So, speaking of that (emphasis mine):

5. MEMBER ACCOUNT, PASSWORD AND SECURITY

You will receive a password and account designation upon completing the Service’s registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or account. You agree to (a) immediately notify Yahoo! of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and (b) ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. Yahoo! cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with this Section 5.

I don’t know about you, but what I’m reading there is that the responsibility for Sarah Palin’s password winding up on some 4chan message board falls on….Sarah Palin.  In fact, as you read the terms of service, one gets the impression that any given user can expect very little guarantee of, well, anything.  Heck, they can just shut your account down if they feel like it (see section 15).

So, I open up the thread to enlighten myself.  Was the offence related to posting the new password online?  Just accessing the account? 

Have at me, and I’ll update when I see the light.

 

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Update: I was wrong about the WPPBA not having a thread up. DandelionSalad has one (that’s getting a lot of hits, actually), with more background on what happened.

Update:  Another WPPBA member posts, this one hoping the culprit goes to jail.  Still waiting for the charge…

Update:  Another reason I ask, is because there are “lock door/throw away key” comments being posted on other blogs, or discussions about whether Palin should show mercy and drop the charges.  But no one seems to be stopping to ask if there is a there there to begin with. (of course, going public with showing mercy in light of having nothing to charge the kid (?) with might just be a great political cover for the aforementioned section 5 oopsy).

Update:  I thought I’d add that Gawker (the site that posted screenshots of the emails in question), feels good about their legal situation. Here is the rundown on their coverage.

Update:  Thanks to commenter Mike who finds a post over at the Volokh Conspiracy, and OrinKerr states:

UPDATE: The FBI and Secret Service are conducting a joint investigation. The easiest crime to prove here is 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C), accessing a protected computer without authorization to obtain information, with the possibility of felony liability under 18 U.S.C. 1030(c)(2)(B)(ii)-(iii) and also the possibility of felony liability under 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4). As with most computer crime cases, the real trick will be finding the bad guy rather than finding a charge.

For the record: § 1030. Fraud and related activity in connection with computers

I dunno.  I think the “trick” would be equating what happened and “accessing a computer without authorization”.   Again, what this person essentially did was gain access to web pages (as opposed to a computer) using the tools that Yahoo! provides.  No trojan horses, no spyware, no keystroke logger.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I’m not seeing anything sticking at this point.  But again, I’m not a lawyer and am unaware of precedents here.

Update: The most comprehensive breakdown I’ve seen thus far of the legalities involved at Threat Level: Little or No Jail Time Likely for Palin Hacker 

The law really does appear to be ambiguous on this one.  But to prove how little I know, I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Stored Communications Act.

Update:  There’s been an indictment, and they’re charging him in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 2701 and 1030(a)(2) (as Volokh predicted).

Update:  There’s and excellent discussion going on over at Volokh, and the title says it all:  Is the Palin E-Mail Hack Indictment Legally Flawed?

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82 comments

  1. Chen,

    Am I following you? You don’t think a crime, forget for the moment how egregious, has been committed here?


  2. I’m just asking what law, that’s all.

    Look, I have a yahoo! email account. It’s free, and as far as I can tell, everything that gets posted on there or to other people, at the end of the day, is theirs. Sure, I don’t really expect them to go snooping through all of it or for them to care what’s there, but it’s not like I’m paying them to keep it private. I figure that if someone really wants to get in and finds my password, then all they’ve done is guessed my password and/or gotten around Yahoo!’s recovery mechanism, and I would think to myself that there are bad people out there and I probably could have done a better job at protecting my password.

    But let’s be clear about this hypothetical. It’s not like this person would have accessed my personal computer at home. I’m sure there are laws against that.

    But in the case of yahoo!, we’re talking about a website-based email system that the entire world can view, and what I want to know is specifically what charge the Feds or whoever are going to serve someone who did nothing more than use the tools that Yahoo! itself puts out there for everyone.

    Immoral, yes. Illegal? Prove it.

    I’m going to stick my neck out there right now and say that, whoever this is, doesn’t get charged with a damn thing. That, and Yahoo! tweaks their password recovery protocols.


  3. Sound science requires the use of a controlled experiment to see if the same results occur over time. Chen, why don’t you hack Dead Rabbit’s email, post his teenage daughter’s cell phone and name online and see if a crime takes place as a result of this action?


  4. I’ll take that bet…that is, unless Sarah Palin chooses to excuse them. You don’t think they’ve got the highest of authorities out actively seeking the perpetrator for nothing, do you? I think they are going to nail somebody’s ass to the tree for no other reason than who they chose to steal the information from.

    Though no attorney, I believe what you’ve posted there is an indemnity clause alleviating Yahoo of any liability. That doesn’t mean a crime has not been committed.

    WordPress is not your property – but I’ll guarantee you if somebody hacked in here and stole anything personal, then posted it on the net for anyone to view, you’d believe a crime had been committed.

    But


  5. dead rabbit forgot, he doesn’t have a teen age daughter…forget it, chen….


  6. Chen, being the Machiavellian Obama-phile he is, makes a point. I, too, haven’t seen the actual law on this one.


  7. rabbit-

    Sound science requires the use of a controlled experiment to see if the same results occur over time. Chen, why don’t you hack Dead Rabbit’s email, post his teenage daughter’s cell phone and name online and see if a crime takes place as a result of this action?

    As a fellow Yahoo user, have you reviewed the terms of service? This is a website-based email service we’re talking about here, something that you’ve no doubt taken for granted up until this point. But I have no interest in accessing your email.

    Palin, on the other hand, decided to boldly chose gov.palin@yahoo.com, implying that she did at least some of the government’s business thru a yahoo account (something that I still can’t wrap my mind around the stupidity of), which basically invites snoopers. And like I said, the fact that her security of it was so pathetically lacking is just scary. Or, perhaps this is just intended as a smokescreen for the real juicy stuff? That’s been suggested too.

    Tex-

    WordPress is not your property – but I’ll guarantee you if somebody hacked in here and stole anything personal, then posted it on the net for anyone to view, you’d believe a crime had been committed.

    Good analogy, but, not really, no. I figure that anything I’ve posted as personal info or whatever I’ve done at my own risk. This blogging service is free, and I’m putting everything out there for the whole world to see, knowing full well that all someone would need was my password and they can access the Chamber and roger it up good if they want to. So, I pick a password that no one would ever guess in a million years, fully aware of what the terms of service are and whatever lax safeguards exist to prevent such a thing from happening.

    I just want to know what law or statute or whatever, and I’ll update and shut up. I say this out of frustration, since none of the reports I’ve seen spells it out. Yahoo! is mum (as its probably quite embarrassing for them).


  8. Chen, I can’t speak to the legalities but it does seem analogous to someone opening your unlocked physical mail box and stealing your mail. Stealing snail mail is if I’m not mistaken a fed crime.

    I’ll keep my eyes on this post as I’d be very interested to see if anyone with legal knowledge can put their two cents in.


  9. Well, the Supreme Court has decided that citizens have a right to privacy (under fourth amendment) if it is reasonable for the citizen to expect privacy (or something along those lines.) So, if you have documents in a lockbox in your home and a guest takes them out, then the guest is toast. If you leave documents on the street corner, you’re toast.

    It’s not clear, however, whether information freely stored on someone else’s server is protected or not (even if it is password protected.)

    Some of you with conservative leanings ought to be slow to say “There oughta be a law!” because, according to some people, if the information is not protected then law enforcement will not need a warrant to access the information, just the consent of the server’s owner. So, think of how that law might hamper law enforcement efforts in the future, on all sorts of internet-related crimes. On the other hand, making a law would certainly help protect privacy, and make this sort of thing illegal, since it certainly is distasteful. But do you really want to handicap the good guys?

    (That’s the cool thing about law enforcement: the same tools that catch criminals can be used to harass the regular folk, if used correctly….I mean incorrectly!)


  10. No, it’s not like stealing snail mail for a whole host of reasons. Specifically, there are very strict, very special laws dealing with mail that do not apply to other sorts of property/documents. They’re not really analogous on anything but an intuitive level.


  11. You sir?

    Are an Idiot.

    So am I, but I admit it.


  12. You sir?

    Are an Idiot.

    So am I, but I admit it.

    {{{sigh}}}

    Thanks.

    As for me…

    I hang on to the hope…that there is hope…that someday, somewhere…..somebody might tell me what the heck law has been broken.

    But my dear Droopy, I don’t think you’re a idiot. Nope.


  13. You agree to (a) immediately notify Yahoo! of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security,

    I’m no lawyer, but wouldn’t the term “unauthorized” imply some basic privacy standards are being recognized? It’s just that Yahoo isn’t guaranteeing them.

    That would probably cover Yahoo’s rear, but does it cover the rear of the person who has “breached security” with their “unauthorized use of your password or account”?

    I might even consider that posting the private information on a public web forum is the crime, as opposed to breaching the security.

    Of course, that doesn’t answer the question as to what law has been broken (which is a good one). But I thought I’d toss it out there, anyway.

    I wonder what the ACLU would say about all of this if they could review the case with all of the player names blanked out?


  14. So if a terrorist used Yahoo you wouldn’t need the Patriot Act ?


  15. I also published McCandy’s email address. Once it became public, it was fairgame and I stand by my decision to publish it. If the authorities want to question me — bring it on fellas, as I will be blogging it for my readers.

    As far as who was responsible for the actual hacking, I unearthed this little gem.

    State Rep. Mike Kernell said today that he was aware of Internet rumors about his son being the subject of speculation that he accessed the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

    Asked whether he or his son, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, had been contacted by authorities investigating the break-in of Palin’s account, he responded:

    “Me, no.”

    As far as his 20-year-old son, David, he said: “I can’t say. That doesn’t mean he has or hasn’t (been contacted by investigators.”


  16. Interesting discussion, Chen. And very good question about exactly what law was broken. I do agree that is was unethical to do what he/she/they did, though.

    Thanks for linking to the post on DS. One of the main reasons I posted it was that both the Repubs and the Dems just passed the FISA bill which allows all of our email to be read. We don’t have a 4th Amendment any longer.


  17. alfie-

    So if a terrorist used Yahoo you wouldn’t need the Patriot Act ?

    Can you see the feds trying to guess jihadi zip codes and where they met their spouse? LOL


  18. Several years ago, I read a book paralleling the Roman Empire to the United States of America. Rome, for all its warts, had in effect civilized the known world. It was the foundation of the western world; its accomplishments became legend.

    And in this book, the author pointed to the fact that the Roman Empire, the most powerful country of its day, never was conquered but fell from within due to a great many deficits. But virtually all aspects of its fall could be encapsulated in its legal corruption, greed of the elected, complacency of its masses, deification of athletics (bread and circuses), and sexual immorality.

    The book was written over 30 years ago and though many of its predictions have proven to me to be prophetic over the years, it was and still is largely discounted, ignored or unknown by the secular world.

    When I read many of the responses here, it reminds me of an event about 10 years ago where a philandering President, filmed just two hours before carrying his Bible while leaving church on Easter Sunday, had an affair with an intern not much older than his daughter, in the Oval Office, while delaying official business. He then lied about the tryst when caught. The sordid affair was not only disgusting and immoral, but completely wreckless.

    And the reaction of a majority of the American public? Ho Hum or outrage that anybody would even concern themselves with this. And hiding behind the thin veil of a corrupt legal system, blinded by the parsing of legalese by clever attorneys, never recognized the issue was not so much of legality but of character, decency and morality.

    And following, most of the citizens not even able to identify the most obvious of wrongs, not only excused and defended the perpetrator, but condemned his accusers. This included the father of the young intern who blamed not the elder perpetrator of the affair but a prosecuting attorney. Shame, it seemed, had become a lost virtue.

    It was then that I knew a great many Americans were so morally bankrupt and so devoid of integrity, realized that America’s best days probably were behind her. And I thought to myself if the country were to be saved for my children, drastic change was going to be necessary.

    I can’t help but read much of this amazement and wonder why American doesn’t understand why our Congress feckless, civic/business/spiritual leaders for the most part horrid examples, our children struggling, our system crumbling, finances near ruin, our progress stalled, and our hope and direction lost. It seems, history does indeed repeat itself.


  19. An interesting point.

    Whether deliberate or not, you have hit on a woeful failure of legislation to keep pace with computer-based crimes. There are entire categories of things that seem like and should be crimes but no one has gotten around to prohibiting. Thankfully, a lot of those loops are being closed (and, no, I’m not listing them for you).

    I am fairly certain that there are, in fact, federal laws against breaking into someone’s e-mail. I’m looking for them to give you links.

    Most of the case law I’m finding via cybercrime.gov pertains to former employees and involves a matter of commercial gain … I’ll see what I can find that applies directly, though.

    On the other hand … Alfie touched on a point, and I think it’s worth more thought in terms of intellectual consistency.


  20. Yes, Wickedpinto, I am an idiot. Turns out my reference was published in the mid-90’s.

    Here’s an applicable law 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C),

    (2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains— (C) information from any protected computer if the conduct involved an interstate or foreign communication;

    The rest is here http://volokh.com/posts/1221704175.shtml


  21. Thanks Mike, I will update.


  22. Chen, my joke last night was so stupid I don’t think you got it. I meant if anyone ever did this to me, a crime would certainly take place… if you know what I mean.

    Yeah, I know, its even more toolish explaining a dumb joke.


  23. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT FOR MASS CONSUMPTION. BORING ALERT

    Dead Rabbit’s Devil’s Advocate Response To Tex Taylor’s Compare and Contrast Essay about the Fall of Rome and the Possible Fall of America. Why? Happy Hour makes me rant.

    1.I’m not sure the fall of the Roman Empire and its similarities to the present condition of America has ever been “ignored.” This subject has been a mainstay in American discourse since the founding fathers got this party started.

    2.A commonality you omitted about America and ancient Rome is the fact that the ancient Romans themselves were always wondering if they were collapsing using the same reasons you posted except they used the Athenians and the Hellenistic Kingdoms as their examples.

    3.The Dead Rabbit is also fascinated by your thesis and noticed you omitted another theory for the collapse of Rome. Christianity. The story goes that Christianity created an apathetic populace more concerned with heaven’s gate then the pragmatic ugliness of closing Roman borders all while tarnishing the image of who was now a mere mortal Caesar. Just throwing it out there.

    4.At what point did Rome become amoral and at what point did it collapse? I argue that Rome became strongest after it lost its civic virtue. It was after the great Cicero had his hands nailed to the senate doors by Antony and after Cato pulled his own intestines out in protest of tyranny that the Roman Empire became a true powerhouse.

    5.As I recall, Rome was sacked when it began to rely on mercenaries for protection. America is still a very patriotic nation defended by a volunteer military that is not having problems with enlistments.

    I guess what I’m saying is I’m not sure morality is always coal mine canary for the strength of a nation. The morality-collapse theory of Ancient Rome just doesn’t chronologically add up to its actual fall even if the “slow rot” argument is factored in.


  24. Yeah, I’m afraid the “America is Rome before collapse” argument relies too heavily on the theory that we’ve become more morally corrupt over time, and that our policial economies are roughly similar. Not caring about an adulterous blowjob may be evidence of growing moral apathy, but actively and coercively opposing racial integration is evidence of outright moral depravity. So is owning and violently defending your right to own another person, or salting the Earth around Cathrage. Or eugenics, which was also an official government policy at one point.

    I think one problem is that we have equated morality with “individual lifestyle choice.” If a factory pollutes a waterway and government does nothing because the surrounding communities are disenfranchised, it’s “politics” and “economics,” not a moral issue. We trade others’ health and well-being for a few ticks on the GDP, and we congratulate ourselves. If you complain you’re anti-capitalism or can’t see the “big picture.” However, if a gay person wants to marry another gay person, it’s a moral issue. A blowjob is immoral but shutting down factories and shipping them elsewhere is good business. Both of those phrases are true, and I don’t know what to make of it.

    We think that political decisions aren’t also moral decisions, and that is certainly damaging.


  25. Not sure why Tex brought it up, but speaking of the Rome subject, fellow WPPBA blogger Cloak n Badger has a whole series on it.


  26. Actually, that whole salting the earth bit is a myth from what I understand. The Romans did practically crucify the entire army of Carthage after the 3rd Punic War.


  27. Yeah, I was just saying the Romans didn’t exactly go from angels to demons. It’s kind of odd to talk about the moral decline of the Roman Empire, I think. But then again, I’m no expert.


  28. Yeah, point taken. And I get what you’re saying about morality only being applied to individuals and not the state. However, if Tex was talking about the decline of the Republic, instead of the Empire, I think he makes a valid point. While the Roman treatment of Carthage after the 3rd Punic War was pretty heavy handed, even by ancient standards, the Roman people certainly still had a value system that esteemed civic virtue. This had changed by the Ides of March. There were outside factors that may have caused this: Roman success in the Punic and Macedonian Wars caused a major influx of cheap slaves. This uprooted the plebs from the country side and urbanized them. To keep them pacified, the state started spending immense amount of money on the bread and circuses while Roman military leaders started courting their support via vague promises of land in exchange for personal loyalty (the kind needed for tyranny to succeed.) The upshot was a corrupt senate, unpatriotic masses and the demagoguism of tough guys like Caesar.

    Happy hour has worn off. Tex is correct.


  29. In my opinion, each of you represent prime examples of “my thesis”. Nice guys all, but deep isn’t exactly the word that come to mind when I converse with you here on the board. No offense, of course.

    I would have been mildly shocked if any of you had understood the reference. I threw it out to prove a point and you have.

    And you’re right Mike; you are no expert.


  30. Oooh, that one stung! hahaha

    Totally out of curiousity, how am I a prime example of the thesis you borrowed from this book*? I’d like to clear one thing up. You said something about a WWF gravatar being removed, but I’ve never posted at this site before. Perhaps a case of mistaken identity, if there’s been more than one Mike.

    *By the way, what’s the book called?


  31. I am kind of offended (if getting offended on the “internets” is even possible). I think everyone gets your thesis, Tex. It’s not a matter of intellectual shallowness that stops Mike from agreeing with you. Moral relativism maybe. In fact, what does “deep” have to do with it? You didn’t really drop any thing that profound. What point have I missed? And what the hell is my role in the social depravity that you claim is ruining this country.

    There are millions of Americans who still value objective morality. And while I disagree with moral relativism, Mike makes a point that maybe America has always struggled with a certain amount of immorality even if it is put in the correct historical context. Have you ever read a newspaper from the 1860’s? I’m not talking about the racist stuff that was par for the cultural course. I’m talking about the horrible slant papers took, the non stop partisan lies from both sides. Voter turn out was low in the 19th century. Everybody got hammered on Election Day. In fact, everybody was drunk as hell every day.

    You are a pessimist. Our uneasy alliance is strained, my friend. These liberal bloggers have warped your brain and your faith in your country.


  32. Sure enough, Chen, a partisan warrior for Obama, can only find it within himself to opine with a bunch of crap on the legality of the act and to question Palin’s competence due to her choice of Yahoo! password. I know, it’s off putting. But it doesn’t mean its Armageddon for America! I bet 90% of the country thinks the hacking of Palin’s email was absolutely horrible.


  33. Now am I talking to the docking working Rabbit, the chastising Rabbit, the pious Rabbit, the biker Rabbit, the Happy Hour Rabbit, or the worldly Rabbit? You wear so many hats here that you’ll have to forgive me if I find it easy to get confused about where you stand on much. In fact, about the only thing you seem to be consistent about is your inconsistency. Nonetheless, you do provide Tex much needed humor.

    I’ve heard a lot of things about the fall of Rome but that’s a first that I’ve heard that Christians waiting around for heaven’s gate could have been a large part of the cause. Statements like that will score you a bunch of points with Obama’s chums, or KOS, or Rev. Wright. Not sure Constantine would have agreed but…

    Man has always struggled to various degrees with moral relativism and always will. That’s our nature and you or Mike aren’t telling me something I didn’t know. You still both missed my point. This goes a little beyond simply relativism and bending a few rules.

    When a majority of our country’s citizens apparently can not recognize good from evil, right from wrong, or following the rules vis-a-vis breaking the rules, as the headline of this thread attests, you’ll have to give me a bit of leeway if I think we’re in a whole lot of trouble.

    My intent was not to “drop” anything profound in “The Chamber” (lipstick on a pig comes to mind) but to make an analogy that I believe most Americans so coarsened, shallow and apathetic to not notice what’s become.

    I got a million examples but if you want a few easy ones, watched network TV lately? Can’t watch it with your Mom, your children or Grandma and that happened in 20 years. Or, do you remember a time in American history where much of its citizenry openly rooted for America to be defeated in combat? Sixty years ago, FDR would have imprisoned them for that. Think America would have been so forgiving to Bill Clinton’s little escapades like that 50 years ago, do you? 35 years ago, I had morning paper route at 5:00 AM in a city of 500,000. You think most parents going to let Little Johnny deliver papers at 5:00 AM now without concern? My parents had no worry. And have you noticed what professional athletics has become? Thuggish millionaires on parole while idolized – some like Josh Howard who say fuck the National Anthem? Or Charles Barkley saying all conservative Christians are phonies? Think they would have done that say 1985 without some repercussion? I don’t see much national outrage, do you? How about Ward Churchill calling 3,000 deaths little Eichmanns – and in many circles, celebrated for it. You don’t recognize what has become of most state universities? They couldn’t even fire Ward Churchill.

    But hey, you thank things are peachy, believe as you must. I won’t try to convince you otherwise. I thought you smarter than that, however.

    P.S. – one great thing about being a pessimist? You’re always pleasantly surprised when something good happens.


  34. You forgot Japanese haiku writing rabbit….

    Clouds cry on Texas
    Yet the sun shines some where else
    A bird’s eye would help

    I have du go work on da docks early….so I will respond Saturday evening. I accept your duel.


  35. Let me clear one thing up, Dead Rabbit. I believe moral relativism IS a problem, and I believe the left and the right are guilty of it. You seem to imply that I’m a moral relativist, or maybe I misread you. Sorry if I was unclear.


  36. Clouds cry on Texas
    Yet the sun shines some where else
    A bird’s eye would help

    I wouldn’t know. I don’t live there 😦

    Your original snarky comment, I’m not as pessimistic as you believe; otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.

    I’ve got a hundred duels going on as we speak…namely one with my youngest daughter. If I’m here, you’re on with whatever weapon you choose. If not, we can duke it out later on da docks..


  37. “When a majority of our country’s citizens apparently can not recognize good from evil, right from wrong…you’ll have to give me a bit of leeway if I think we’re in a whole lot of trouble.”

    When I say moral relativism I mean: the truth-value of moral judgements is not fixed, but varies from group to group. I think this is false. For a moral realist, it would appear that moral relativists cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, or simply don’t care. They’ll say stuff like “It seems right/wrong to me/my group, and that’s all that really counts.” It’s selfishness and tribalism passed off as a value-system. I’m not sure what you mean by moral relativism, but a growth of moral relativism implies everything you wrote there. I’m just not convinced that there has been growth, given our checkered past. I live in the south, and the KKK used to meet at the local diner, not 50 years ago. There’s pictures of them posing with L.E.O’s. Prostitution, alcoholism, adultery and so on were really very ingrained parts of pre-Victorian America. Babe Ruth was a womanizing drunk, a fact which was widely published. The depravity of Wall Street during the Gilded Age is pretty much unmatched. Several very famous Victorian-era industrialists sponsored eugenics research, a fact admiringly noted by Hitler. We practiced a pretty effective genocide against the natives. Anyway, my point is that I think you have rose-colored glasses on regarding moral attitudes of the past. We’re depraved douchebags today, but it’s not like we were upright citizens yesterday. Not that that excuses our behavior today.

    It’s funny you mention this, because I recently argued in class that we ought to bring communal moral shaming back. We have this bizarre method of justice in which we wisk criminals out of the community and lock them up far away, and don’t compensate those affected. It would be more effective for the community to punish them, in the community, by getting the criminal to pay back for her crimes. That’ll keep people in line.


  38. dead rabbit-

    Sure enough, Chen, a partisan warrior for Obama, can only find it within himself to opine with a bunch of crap on the legality of the act and to question Palin’s competence due to her choice of Yahoo! password. I know, it’s off putting. But it doesn’t mean its Armageddon for America! I bet 90% of the country thinks the hacking of Palin’s email was absolutely horrible.

    I did say that it was immoral upthread, and you’d never find me doing such a thing. But I think it does reveal a bit of ignorance on Palin’s part (or genius, if this email acct. was really a headfake). I just noticed that there wasn’t a discussion out there on whether something like that was actually illegal. Not really the same as defending the act.

    Mike- I forgot to say welcome and thanks for stopping by the Chamber. If you’re going to be here for awhile, may I suggest a gravatar?

    Anyways, I have to head off to work for the day, and I’ll be back later. I think the next thread will be about that ridiculous Krauthammer piece I read yesterday, but we’ll see. In the meantime, everyone play nice and try not to make a mess! 🙂


  39. Tex is for big government. He won’t tell you that. In fact, no phrase probably evokes a quicker rebuke from Tex. Tex hates the current Nanny. But, following Tex’s premise, how could America ever survive without a Nanny? According to Tex, the “majority of our country’s citizens apparently can not recognize good from evil, right from wrong”. Tex believes Americans are children, and bad behaving ones at that. They say naughty things on some TV channels. They the family prime-time experience for an entire segment of the population who don’t know how to uh…err….program their cable box (a cable box with dozens of educational channels that didn’t exist two decades ago).

    Even worse, according to Tex, these children are some straight up treasonous little bastards. Tex believes that “much of its citizenry openly rooted for America to be defeated in combat”. I can only infer that Tex is not happy with this younger generation’s response to the War on Terror? A volunteer force that has risen to take on every challenge since the planes took down the towers?

    Wait a minute. The Dead Rabbit thinks he gets it. Tex suffers from lack of perspective. While Tex will claim he knows the “folks,” his mind is overwhelmed by polls and blogs and editorials the Chamber and World War II and…ok I’ll stop. Today on da docks, Dead Rabbit walked amongst the masses. Dead Rabbit lives in probably the biggest blue collar metropolitan city in America. The people vote Democratic. If polled, they may say they’re against the War in Iraq. Yet, they send their sons to Babylon. They don’t spend their evenings battling bloggers at the Daily Kos. They are in apolitical bowling allies, apolitical softball fields and apolitical fishing boats. They apolitically work hard all day and apolitically hunt all weekend. Perhaps they laugh at dirty jokes that Tex feels should be legislated against, probably suffer from periods of acute road rage and often times vote for the wrong party, but you know they will have your back. I wouldn’t trust Tex for anything. He doesn’t trust me.

    He doesn’t even trust himself. So afraid he might sound like Reverend Wright he dismisses wholesale theories that even most learned Christians would agree with: Christianity upset a pagan empire and by 700 A.D. was much more inward looking then the state religion of Ancient Rome. Nothing defamatory there, Tex. Run it by the 700 Club and I bet you get permission to at least discuss this historical thesis.

    I will refrain writing paragraphs on today’s lower crime rate, the response from many to the Mexican American War, THE FACT WE FOUGHT A DAMN CIVIL WAR, the behavior of baseball players in the 1920’s or Charles fricking Barkley.

    Tex and I intellectually fight the same foe. And Tex is correct this foe does exist. But damned if I’d ever want to be in a fox hole with him. And please keep a copy of The Leviathan out of his hands.


  40. They “ruin” the family prime-time experience for an entire segment of the population who don’t know how to uh…err….program their cable box (a cable box with dozens of educational channels that didn’t exist two decades ago).

    correction


  41. So Rabbit thinks I get my marching orders from Pat Robertson? Well, I don’t believe you’ve got Tex pegged there as correctly as you’d like to believe, being that I came from the blue collar world of truck drivers, and farmers and house cleaners. That is, assuming that is comparable to your apple pie working world and the good old boy, model citizen, patriotic type you run with. That, and that I’ve been pretty critical of Pat Robertson, going so far that I’ve called him a hypocrite, a phony, and black mark.

    But I’ll be happy to debate theology, if you wish. For someone so untrusting of himself, I feel pretty confident debating you about the history of Christianity – no need to get Pat involved.

    One thing Tex has figured out for sure about Rabbit. When Rabbit lets the guard down for a minute, he has proven to be quite the religious bigot, never failing to miss a cheap shot against Christianity. So while Rabbit thinks of himself as quite profound, Tex finds Rabbit just another sanctimonious, shallow secularist with a hard on for Christians. Nothing much unique about that down at “da dock.”

    And being that Tex has friends and family in Babylon, Tex doesn’t need he or his cohorts sharing a fox hole with Rosie or Bill Maher.

    So no Rabbit, I don’t believe we fight a “common” intellectual enemy. It may appear that way politically with respect to finances, legality, or choice of candidate. But I can almost assure you that we arrive our conclusions from a very different mindset with a very different set of priorities.

    But you really do need to make up your mind about Tex and the nanny state. It wasn’t a week ago, that Rabbit was scolding Tex for questioning why Sarah Palin’s daughter and her respective pregnancy was being used as a political fodder. Seems Tex thought that some issues off limits and children should be left out of politics. Now it seems I remember Rabbit droning on about a lack of shame, how it worried him, and chastising Tex about how out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancy should never be minimized. How worried Rabbit was…

    Well, why not Rabbit if things are going so well as you attest and nothing has changed? Shouldn’t we be completely tolerant, with everyone left to their own sense of judgement about what’s right and what’s wrong, singing praises about how good things are going? You know our low crime rate (ask Chicago and Detroit citizens this year about their murder rate and they might have a different opinion). What’s another out-of-wedlock birth (being 70% of black children and 30% of all children are born out of wedlock)? ‘Illegitimate births’ have been happening since the dawn of human history. Why should we worry about something of such little consequence? Right?


  42. I thought Tex was going to be much more of an intellectual challenge. I now see he will have to submit to the Rabbit as his overlord. Tex runs from logic yet leaps into a pile of emotional drivel. He ran from the main crux of my post and tried to find a crack in the Rabbit Death Star in some side bar of mine about Christianity and the fall of Rome.

    Again, according to Tex “the majority of our country’s citizens apparently can not recognize good from evil, right from wrong.” Tex believes most Americans are “coarsened, shallow and apathetic”. No, Tex doesn’t believe they cling to “guns and religion.” They cling to “bread and circuses”. Why would anyone who believes the masses to be so depraved and ignorant even be for democracy? Perhaps Tex would like to see a Philosopher King rule America? Perhaps an oligarchy of Presbyterian Elders? Explain how a Nanny State isn’t desperately needed, Tex.

    I said it was fair game that Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy was discussed if it was done with dignity. Most conservatives must have agreed with me, because they seem to have blabbed a great deal about how she didn’t get an abortion. You can’t have it both ways. I thought it was deplorable how she was treated by the far left and made myself very clear.

    Never did I say we not worry about morality in America. It was I who held Palin’s daughter up to a moral code while still being respectful. Not you. No doubt about it, the black community is a mess. The Dead Rabbit is from Detroit and reads about it every day. It was government intervention that caused that mess. You bring up examples from the near past, even as early as the 80’s, and then make the argument America is worse off now. Crime is down since the 80s. Explain that Tex.

    I don’t have a “peachy” outlook on my fellow Americans. I see our faults and point them out even when not convenient. But we are still the most courageous and hard working people in the world. You may hate the people. The Daily Kos may hate the people. But not the Rabbit.

    “Rabbit thinks of himself as quite profound, Tex finds Rabbit just another sanctimonious, shallow secularist with a hard on for Christians.” This was Rabbits favorite quote. Not because it’s funny, which it is, but because it shows what a cookie cutter argument Tex rolls with. I honestly don’t know where that is coming from. What, because I mentioned Christianity in the year 700 A.D.? Personally, the Rabbit is putting carrots away so that his bunnies can one day go to Catholic school. And yeah, the wife sometimes elbows Rabbit when he dozes off during mass. I’m sorry Inquisitor Tex, Mea Culpa. I never said anything negative about Christianity. But I will now. Divine right monarchy is bad. The behavior of Renaissance popes was bad. The Spanish Inquisition was bad. Burning people at the stake was bad. The human church has been bad. For all those bad things, Christianity was and is one of the most positive forces in society and one of the most rewarding things for the Rabbit spiritually. I’m not sure why I am explaining this to you, Inquisitor Tex, but there you have it. Now put your Daily Kos cookie cutter away and make a special cookie for the Rabbit. No red, white and blue frosting on top though please, you hate America, my friend, and use twisted logic to back it up.


  43. “And being that Tex has friends and family in Babylon, Tex doesn’t need he or his cohorts sharing a fox hole with Rosie or Bill Maher.”

    And another thing, let me just tell you that a fox hole is the most apolitical place on earth.


  44. Tex runs from logic yet leaps into a pile of emotional drivel. He ran from the main crux of my post and tried to find a crack in the Rabbit Death Star in some side bar of mine about Christianity and the fall of Rome.

    I guess Tex had to run from the logic because he didn’t find any while he read the Rabbit’s post, as Tex was running in circles trying to determine what the substance of the esoteric context was. Nor did Tex find much “crux” in the profound Rabbit’s rant, unless a few too many cliches profound in the circles Rabbit runs. But if Rabbit does indeed become Tex’s overload, it will without doubt be the lamest overload Tex has had since circa 1976 with Dhimmi Carter and the sorry Detroit produced cars Tex owned at the time (nor will he be owning in the future); that is, if the last post via the Rabbit a predictor of the Rabbit’s uncanny and unworldly talents.

    Interesting that the Rabbit found his genius in Detroit – a mecca for failure as indicated by the Beirut look and feel. Tex found that if God choose to give America an enema, He would probably start in Detroit. Maybe the Rabbit’s guides of profoundness down at the dock aren’t so profound, since the greater area of Detroit the current model of abysmal failure. A real shithole from what Tex observed as Tex kissed the tarmac upon leaving. Perhaps Rabbit’s apple pie, American lovin’, dock busting, union buddies don’t have intricacies of success as solidly in place as the Rabbit would like to profess…

    ———————————————–

    Some crime is down Rabbit – some is up. You need to better define what years your comparing and the statistics your measuring – otherwise, your perception that crime is down is meaningless. Incarceration rates are way up; maybe this helps to explain why crime is down – the other are that until recently, there were fewer potential perpetrators being there were far fewer less young thugs from the population to choose. Need I remind the complex Rabbit that the 80s were the Baby Boom years and that the average age of America has changed a great deal in the last 20 years? Some where, statistics and damn lies rings a bell…

    So Rabbit, there are few misnomers you’ve placed here on the record that I must correct, being that you like to rail about my confused intent. Hopefully, this will put some of the inconsistency in statement to bed: (1) The Mrs. and Tex have already put our children thru the best of Catholic schools where both my children excelled by any measure. Perhaps I should be your mentor since I’ve been there, done that, and somehow through the hatemongering and badmouthing of America, raised two model citizens; did I mention I have possibly the world’s most wonderful wife, who just happens to be Catholic? The shame! (2) Tex must remind Rabbit and his selective memory that Tex has said and defended America as the greatest nation on earth here in “The Chamber” no less than about 6 gazillion times; perhaps your memory clouded from Happy Hour and the drunken stupor, and your judgement skewed? I have said and consider being born and raised in America my luckiest break; if you missed that, well now you know; (3) I’ve never been to the Daily KKKos other than a few links, nor have I ever left a post there, nor do I read anything other than what somebody tells me is there; if I have followed the cookie cutter mold with frosting, it was by random chance; (4) If Rabbit can show Tex here in “The Chamber” one time I have been anything but our military’s biggest cheerleader, I will happily kiss the profound Rabbit’s ass and admit the Rabbit my better; (5) {Explain how a Nanny State isn’t desperately needed, Tex}. A better question for Tex would be why is a nanny state required being that I have told the profound Rabbit as recent as above that I believe in the live and let live mantra, declaring to the Rabbit the he must believe as he chooses; (7) for Tex, the smaller the government, the better being that I find it mostly inept.

    As far as the emotional drivel, well I’m probably not as worked up about your rhetoric as you might like to believe. That may crawl under some weak minded soul’s skin; not me. In fact, I encourage you to continue as I’ll use it as ammunition at a later date when your memory fails you again.

    And as far as the Presbytery overloads, well you’ll forgive me as I chuckle about something recent as this morning. See, I was a bit player of a large church that just broke away from our overlords; but the ingnorance of the insult and its timing, well now that is profound.

    xxoxx,

    Tex


  45. First of all, the Dead Rabbit has to give props for the witty, verbal abuse thrown at Detroit. That cracked me up.

    Rabbit correctly guessed Tex to be a Presbyterian. Now Rabbit is going to go on a limb again.

    Tex never served in the military. If he had, he would know that when it comes down to it, nobody gives a damn about anyone else’s precious macro-political view. Seriously, Bill Maher may be just the guy you want with you, who knows. He would also acknowledge that an entire generation of so called “apathetic and shallow” Americans has answered the call, of their own free will, to go fight for their country. While Tex enjoys chicken dinner on Sunday as whimsical, family patriarch, lamenting for the good old days when America had values, he ignores the fact that this generation too, has answered the call.

    No, Tex will instead will point to Detroit. Ignoring the crime rate of the Wild West, Victorian Era Baltimore or New York in the 70’s, he will lament about how awful the American people are now. He will point to Bill Clinton, and with a straight face, ask if anyone could possible have gotten away with that in the past. Sing it slowly and with sex appeal: Happy Birthday, dear Tex…..Happy Birthday….too…..you.

    So, I tell you what Tex, I accept your mentorship on getting my kids through Catholic school. In return, I will mentor you on what its like to actually serve your country and I’ll throw in a little historical perspective as well. Deal?


  46. I see that this thread has now moved into the realm of shifts between 1st and 3rd person, along with gratuitous use of the word “profound” (highlighted by Tex’s 7-banger a couple posts up), but I’m drawing a blank on which direction to head for the next one.

    Any ideas?


  47. Yeah, plus Dead Rabbit forgets what he was arguing about in the first place.


  48. The Rabbit would be wrong about his guess that Tex is a Presbyterian – being a bit player moving a church doesn’t mean he is necessarily a member of their congregation. And with you being the quasi-Christian bigot, you would really, really gag if you knew that old Tex was raised a member of an even more conservative denomination. You know Rabbit, one of those fire breathing, God fearing types you guys so disdain as phony?

    But the Rabbit would be right about Tex not serving in the military. Like Obama, at the time Tex graduated from high school the military was about as popular with the American public as syphilis, being it was soon after Vietnam. Never even entered his mind to join as he headed to college. But that doesn’t mean Tex doesn’t have family now serving – which he does. And from what he has observed, many times it appears harder on the remaining family than it does those serving.

    However, Tex fails to understand how that means Tex is cowardly, anti-military being that Tex has gone as so far here to announce to the world that he believes those now serving truly are the best America has to offer – you being the exception, of course.

    Now Tex is going to go out on a limb – potato peeler in the kitchen feeding the platoon; or driver and lackey for one of the big wigs?

    Tex awaits with bated breath for Rabbit to brag of his heroic, Rambo exploits as I takes on entire platoon of radical Muslims from his foxhole, all alone, with the balance of the war at hand.

    General Chen – my seven banger was a tribute to Plato Rabbit and his frequent want of the word. I was so humbled by his critique, I wanted to be just like him.


  49. Just for fun I just want to say,

    If Palin can’t secure her e-mail how can she secure the borders.
    ….
    I want to add that I looked at the e-mails and there wasn’t anything significant so far. Maybe the hacker is holding out on releasing the potentially bad stuff, i personally don’t think people are going to find anything in her e-mails that would disqualify her from being VP.
    I think it is wrong, you can’t go hacking people’s e-mails especially not a government employee’s e-mail.
    I do though, find it of poor judgment that Palin not only, did not take steps to secure her e-mail address used for state business, but she also used yahoo which definitely not the type of e-mail account you should use for state business.
    My university gives out personal, more secure, e-mail addresses (.edu) Im sure that the government has a (.gov) for state officials.


  50. You can’t name one bigoted thing I’ve said about Christianity. I’m not the secular boogie man you seem to want to argue with. I only used the word “profound” once, weirdo. It seemed to strike a nerve with you though. Embarrassingly, you’ve used it about a hundred times.

    No, I honestly don’t know what your talking about when you say “God fearing types you guys so disdain as phony””. What do you mean by “you guys,” the Holy Catholic See?

    I simply have made the point that I somewhat disagree with your historical analysis of morality in America. I’m also questioning how such a debased population could freely choose to serve their country in a time of war with such excellence. You really have yet to address this with anything except rips on my personal faith and now, I guess it’s my military record? Honestly, why would my military service be the “exception”?

    You’re really just a keyboard cowboy, bud. The way I see it, you’re almost a 50 something year old grown man who still gets in “internet battles” on who can come up with the most hard core insult.. Your generalizations are ridicules. You’re sensitivity to religious bigotry pure paranoia.

    Again, how can such a debased population freely choose to serve their country in a time of war with such excellence?

    You won’t answer it though. Better thumb through your note cards and find an internet rip for Rabbit. Let me get them out of the way. No, my militery service wasn’t full of heroics. Yes, my town is a shit-hole. No, most of buddies are not in the union. Yes, most of them wish they were but the jobs of their fathers never materialized. Yes my Church takes some stances I disagree with. No, I never went to college. Yes I try to read books I can barely understand. No, I don’t enjoy happy hour every day.

    Ok, I’m hoping we rise above your Ad Hominem arguments….

    You keyboard cowboys kill me.


  51. The reason I bring up your own lack of military service should be obvious to you. You call us all out on here as part of an ignorant heathen mob bringing down America because we don’t 100% agree with some of your historical analysis. So, yeah Tex. You made it kind of personal from the start. Since I’m an amoral heathen, my bet is you’re a coward.


  52. Well Rabbit, from the Keyboard Cowboy (I wished I had used that NIC), I may be the coward, but with each passing post, you’re proving to be quite the blowhard. And since you haven’t answered any of my questions but instead have provided your typical rhetoric, I’ll try and answer one of yours very specifically. I would have thought a heroic and intellectual giant like you could have figured this one out without explanation since people currently serving represent about 1% of the resident population (that’s a small minority). Perhaps the math book is the one you should read first.

    Our military serves at its leisure, mostly young but some old like me, and does it better than anyone. There are still very large pockets of people that actually think the republic an idea worth keeping. Yes, most who serve are heroes in my book and I try to do my part to support their effort. When I said a majority of our populace is lost above, that is exactly what I meant. The 60% like you (if math isn’t the thing down at the docks, that constitutes a majority) apparently don’t recognize the egregious error of our past leader.

    Forgetting the moral aspects of it for a minute, many still recognize America is still a beacon of hope and deserves someone shall we say a little more level headed, a bit more grounded, and a whole lot more careful in judgement than a predator and philanderer passing as commander-in-chief. And when only a minority of America (that’s about 2 in 5 which constitutes 40% or so; 1 – .6) apparently recognized a very obvious fact and instead went looking for someone else to blame because it was “only a blowjob”, it was then that I finally came to the conclusion our country’s mindset in serious trouble.

    Since I didn’t get very specific about what constitutes a majority, 60% now makes it so for the pedantic and vitriolic type.

    Now about the fact I made it personal, your military service, and my cowardice. If you will read up, you might note that it was you who made it personal in your customary flippant style. I didn’t address a single comment to Homer Rabbit until your shitty reply and my lack of insight. Then I made it personal because you pushed it and as a keyboard cowboy, will continue to do so, if necessary.

    I’ve noted you seem to lose your sense of humor when the retort comes at your expense Homer. But even Tex commends you for your service. I tip my cap but now you need to understand your glory days are over, you’re an average guy with a bike, a job, and an attitude, and previous service in the military doesn’t give one the permission to be a lifetime asshole.

    As far as me being the coward, I love to tell this story when I’m called a chicken hawk for not serving. In 1980, when a foreign exchange student from Iran disrespected my girlfriend by pushing her to the floor (2nd class citizen, you know), he in turned had his jaw shattered by the me, the coward. Understand it messed him well enough that soon thereafter, he left the country and I must presume was never to be heard from again around these parts. I’ve often wondered if he thought me the coward when I’m called on not serving. However, in those politically incorrect times and being from the redneck part of the country, my university only threatened to discipline me for the act and no charges were filed. There were several witnesses to me doing my “civic” duty. Seemed the Dean of the University didn’t think me coward for doing so but off the record told me, “the schmuck had it coming – just don’t do it again or your gone.”

    So if I’m the coward, it’s just the occasional one. And yes, I can name several tacitly bigotted comments from you about my faith. But I’ll hold my ammo (can you say that if you haven’t served or do I need a Vets permission?) as this reply long-winded enough.


  53. Since we are now leaving two comments in one, I did want to add something to change the mood for a minute. Sorry, had to stop to eat dinner.

    Can I say Rabbit, until this thread I actually had enjoyed your commentary. Your humor funny (I especially liked Copperhead Shill in reference to Chen and added it to my lexicon), your judgement mostly sound, and you generally an interesting read.

    P.S. – College is highly overrated…save your money unless you’re going into something more professional than a liberal art’s degree which seems to the “internet” degree of choice. You’ll do a lot better at the docks, definitely work with more enjoyable and interesting people, and have some sense of worth for job well done.


  54. Nay, nay, Tex. You started this brawl when you said I was personally the reason for the moral downfall of America. A blanket statement like that, in response to some tripe I wrote about Ancient Rome deserves the same jaw splintering you gave that Persian. You see, you affronted my honor, keyboard cowboy. Just like that Persian did yours. If it was 1830, I would duel your ass, fire, and if you reviewed my military record that is of such interest to you, miss. I would then take your lead in the gut, and curse you the fuck out all the way to Hades. You may come in here and push the liberals around, but I’m not going to stand for it.

    You made a good point earlier that the real stress is for the military family. Why don’t you add that into your little 1%. Next take in consideration that the war on terror has already gone well past even the 4 year enlistment needed for World War II and da math from da docks starts to add up. I will say it again. This society you so hate is willing to fight the good fight. This society produced the fire fighters who went into the towers. Could 18 year old Tex have said the same?

    At least you finally answered the question I posed with logic.

    I get it Tex. Your Daddy sent you to school. Hell, I even respect that. But I have every right to call into question your historical analysis of morality, the Roman Empire or for that matter Christianity without being dubbed anti-American. I don’t give a damn if my comments are not on your intellectual level.

    If Tex ever requested, Dead Rabbit would be more then willing to hop on that bike of his and go for a road trip to make himself more lucid in perhaps a sort of a non-verbal fashion. Just give me the word. xxoxx


  55. And by the way, I’m not even smart enough to come with tacitly bigotted comments about your faith.I would love to see one. Although I think I detected one from you. Still in the Know Nothing Party, Tex?


  56. And one more thing, KC, Where did I ever defend Bill’s B.J.? I believe his tryst had a tangible and immediate effect on foreign relations and an affront to all decency. What planet are you on? I’m just not naive enough to think it was the first B.J. in the Oval Office. 30 years earlier, and we would have never even known about the B.J. It’s called historical perspective. Does this simple reasoning also mean I’m an immoral barbarian?


  57. Alright, you guys are starting to creep me out now.


  58. Immoral Barbarian,

    Yes, I’m still in the know nothing party and keep company at “The Chamber” with all the rest of the dockworkers. I could add in every uncle, aunt and related plumber related to the military and it’s still a real small minority Newton.

    So you’re going to make a 1,200 mile road trip from the cesspool to the Garden of Eden just to teach the Keyboard Cowboy a lesson? LOL Boy, this has been easier than I thought. I wouldn’t walk across the street. Why don’t you make yourself useful and come down here and change my oil? I’d even buy that Colt 45 tap beer you drink there Rocky!

    Ease up soldier. KC is just giving you a taste of your own medicine while trying to be lucid. Take it like the good soldier – not the AWOL one. There’s a million punks on the internet and you and I are only two of them.

    Besides, that daddy that bought my college education? Man, you got me pegged wrong. KC worked in the steel fabrication shops while going to college. KC went school on scholarship the 1st two years, gave up on being the next Nolan Ryan, and comes from white trash. KC paid for most of the education. What KC didn’t pay for, his company did when he joined the work force.

    Every worthless degree I got, I paid for – including the $13K loan I recently took for tuition into medical school trying to stay out of the child college fund. I retired from corporate America out of disgust with the cronyism and trying to get a little more meaning out of working – probably the same way down on da docks, huh?

    I think I made my point. Yeah, I think you the bigot and with the mindset of a bully. But I got a little of that in me, too. Just a different sort of bigot; just a little bit different bully.

    See you on the flip side Rambo…where KC will start anew.

    Love and kisses,

    Keyboard Cowboy (formerly known as Tex)


  59. Want to know something funny Rabbit – man, I’d swear if I didn’t know better, I’m arguing with my smart ass brother-in-law. You write just like he sounds.

    And though immoral and a lost cause, my brother-in-law (I guess ex brother-in-law now) just happens to be one of my two or three favorite people in the world. Ain’t that a kicker?

    Who knows Barbarian. After I shot you and you put my nerts up around my ears, we might become bosom buddies.


  60. lol


  61. Chen,

    Alright, you guys are starting to creep me out now.

    General, if I shook in horror and thought my self personally responsibly for every creep I ever saw come along thru the Chamber, my cremaster muscle would hypertrophy.

    Since you’re up there in Rabbit’s parts, might as well drive over to Beirut and hop on the back of his roadster to join us for a Colt 45. I guess Rabbit will have to agree to postpone putting Tex’s teeth in the back of my throat until we drink at least one round. I’ll have the 12 gauge ready for later in the evening.


  62. Yes Chen, you can ride bitch but keep your hands of my pelvis. And the first round is on me. Plus, a duel with 12 gage would kind even things out a bit for me.


  63. off my pelvis


  64. I’m nowhere near Detroit, Tex, and I really don’t want to go there ever again. I feel safer in Mexico, quite frankly.

    But if you guys want to meet up in something akin to the Mos Eisley Cantina and continue this bizarre wingnut bonding ritual, be my guest.


  65. i’m cracking up outloud


  66. I feel safer in Mexico, quite frankly.

    Yea, I see your point. LOL Hey man, the Tijuana drug running cartel that cut people’s heads off and throw them across the river got more scruples than the ex-mayor and council in Detroit.


  67. On-topic:

    It looks like the Feds have their suspect, but so far no charges have been filed.


  68. Tex-
    “As far as me being the coward, I love to tell this story when I’m called a chicken hawk for not serving. In 1980, when a foreign exchange student from Iran disrespected my girlfriend by pushing her to the floor (2nd class citizen, you know), he in turned had his jaw shattered by the me, the coward.”

    Hahahaha, let me get this straight…you cold-cocked an Iranian and you think this properly addresses the chickenhawk slight? Seriously, that is fucking awesome. It’s especially awesome since it took place during the Hostage Crisis. Your own little Operation Eagle Claw, huh?

    Someone: Man, you try and get glory off the backs of those who sacrifice by claiming you support them from your armchair. You’re a chickenhawk.
    Tex: Yeah…WELL I SUCKER-PUNCHED AN IRANIAN!

    Comedy gold.

    But seriously, I’d say very few people are actually chickenhawks and the word is usually improperly used, so I have no idea if it applies to you. Still, killer comeback, dude.


  69. And on that subject, here is an older Chamber thread you guys might have missed:

    Chickenhawks Exist…Theoretically


  70. It’s interesting they haven’t pressed charges yet. Maybe they’re still sifting through the evidence. I wonder if we’ll be seeing a beefed-up Sarah Palin Internet Safety Act any time soon?

    I like your post on chickenhawks. Definitely an overused word, and very hard to pin down. Most people whom I would consider chickenhawks believe that they get some sort of moral or manly boost for being overtly pro-military, without having actually served. Like they’re steely-eyed realists pushin’ the position that only a real man could push. The problem is that people intend the insult to be an argument-stopper, or a way of undermining someone elses position, but really it’s nothing more than an accuarate description of that persons self-delusion.

    I suppose I should come out of the proverbial closet: I’m LewisMumford from fearbush.com. Don’t know if you remember me, but you’re one of the few I remember from back then. Googled you, and here I am.


  71. Lewis! Of course I remember you. Glad to have you here, but I have to ask, why the subversion?

    Anyway, hope to see you more around here, so why not kick back, grab a gravatar, and show Tex the light.


  72. Why the subversion? Frankly, I was a little embarrassed by the fact that I tracked you down. In all honesty, I miss that website. I spent so much time there, I felt like I knew a bunch of you guys. I’m sure that upgrades me to uber-nerd status, but it’s true.


  73. Nah, I get visits periodically from King, Sliquid and abaris and a few others, Bilhar (Tom Brady), and I think even Shelly stopped by not too long ago.

    You know, if I could get all you guys together again, I’d suggest that you all get your own blogs here on wordpress.com. With this Alliance thing I started, it’s easy to track each others posts and engage in disussions and open them up to the wider internet. I miss the FB message board too, but I think that the blogging thing has pretty much everything the board has plus more if you set it up correctly. Our thoughts have more power here.


  74. You know Mike aka LewisMumford…I picture you better as a Lewis; something out of gay porn cartoon.

    I’ve let you get away with a few personal disses toward old Tex because your spelling, coherence and retort generally so lame, frankly it is wasn’t worth responding with much effort. Now I read why. One of the effeminate brain dead from FearBush.com

    See Mike, Rabbit is clever so he presents Tex a challenge when the debate or one upping ensues. You on the other hand, are one of the masses of dumbasses from the left which makes it difficult for you to understand humor and its parallels. Carrying on dialogue with you is like insulting a punching bag. You drop back and hang the limp position.

    For an insult to work, the insulted has to be at least intelligent enough to understand he’s been insulted. In your case, you’re too stupid so it doesn’t work. Now I am having to resort to lowering the dialogue to FearBush.com levels so even a dimwit like you gets it.

    If you will reread, it wasn’t a retort to Rabbit calling me a chickenhawk, but a coward. My chicken hawk reference was a light attempt to show somewhere out there is an Iranian who recognizes some American males who haven’t served still aren’t pacifist pussies like you guys on the left – those who feel the need to hide behind Code Pink as you cower with your other metrosexual boyfriends. I suppose your ilk think it manly to be reamed while hating the military which I never quite understood. It’s a sterling example of devolving in action.

    Now that I see you’re an upstanding member of the feckless FearBush crowd, I understand why you don’t get the comedy.

    So that even you can understand, there was nothing “sucker punched” about it. Sucker punched implies the little Ayatollah wasn’t looking. But Ayatollah was looking directly in Tex’s eyes with surprise when Tex’s knuckles broke the wooly mandible. The fact that it was during the hostage crisis made it all the more joyous to Tex as I hated those scumbags almost as much as I disdain your type.

    The only harm to old Tex was the worst case of stubble rash on his right hand and the stench of the that stinkin’ body odor worse the dead fish on the hand for three days. And because of the odor, I’m reminded that to punch a filthy lib like you will force Tex to again wash his right hand with vinegar for the better part of a week. That and the fact if it didn’t kill you, you would attempt to press charges and our pathetic courts, taking pity on your miserable and floudering socialistic existence, would punish Tex.

    But if I ever get the chance to “sucker punch” a progressive while I have gloves on, and I’m absolutely sure I can get away with it without fiduciary harm, rest assured I’ll take the opportunity. That too would bring great delight to Tex.


  75. Okay, so I’d change the pretend dialog to this:

    Man: You’re a chicken hawk and a coward
    Tex: I ain’t no coward…I COLD-COCKED A DERNED IRANIAN!

    Yes, that’s just as funny.

    Here’s the evolving trend…
    a.) You say something stupid
    “As far as me being a coward, I love to tell this story every time someone calls me a chickenhawk” plus, after going over this site a few times I see you’ve been called a chickenhawk before, and used this same story to address the claim. You clearly, clearly think there is a connection between your virtues displayed in the story and the chicken hawk claim.
    b.) Deny you said something stupid
    Which, by the way, implies that you know what you originally said actually is stupid
    and then c.) say something even dumber, i.e. threaten to punch me in the face for being a fag-ass liberal.

    This is basically exactly what you did in our previous argument regarding the “dumbest political comment in 200+ years of American history.”

    You’re a cool guy, Tex.


  76. You’re a cool guy, Tex.

    Thanks Lewis. I wish I could return the compliment trying but reading thru the syntax errors of that morse code you provide, taxes me and I can’t think of anything nice to say about you. There probably isn’t anything of redeeming value and I would have to lie to do so.

    Lewis, you’re still too ignorant to figure out the analogy. Let me try again a little slower…H E R E i s w h y I think t h e s t o r y r e l e v a n t. Because somewhere outside of our borders as I’m called a “chickenhawk or coward” take your pick Lewis, I know there’s some potential bomb maker who wouldn’t think so. Is that simple enough? Now I know you being the pacifist don’t understand that, but try to come of your little box for a minute and think big thoughts.

    Knowing that your ilk completely devoid of humor, I didn’t think you would understand the entertainment of the story. And as usual, you didn’t disappoint.

    Mikey, one serious question:

    Do you ever add anything of value to a conversation, or do you just critique? I have yet to read one bit of new, relevant information you have provided to any dialogue. Admitting you bore me, I usually just skip on by when I see your name, but you remind me of pubescent teenager throwing rocks at moving cars. Because apparently, you just parrot whatever the current meme is.

    Are you Chen’s toady?


  77. I’m such a sick bastard; I actually started warming up to Tex when he said he punched somebody.


  78. And the Persian Punching was a bit of a two sided coin. On one side, a little self effacing humor. On the other side, “I’m not a war hero, but I’m not afraid to co-cock someone either”. I actually got it.

    Besides, that dude had it coming.


  79. Thank you Rabbit. And a worthy opponent you are.

    Yes, it was an attempt to tell a somewhat humorous story which I was confident you would get – as it was intended for our amusement. Mike’s input was simply dogsh*t I happened to step in and was forced to cuss while I wiped my shoe.

    I was simply showing for the right reasons (like our military), I will happily blow somebody’s brains out without guilt, for the right reasons. Now if that makes me a chicken hawk or coward, so be it.

    That episode of the wooly mandible gives me warm fuzzies too. The only cowardly thing I must admit to? I didn’t hang around when someone called the paramedics (and the cops, I guess) down in the computer lab. I must admit I ran about a 4.4 up the steps with girlfriend in tow, thinking I might have killed the Persian.


  80. Back on topic-

    Few details, but the headline:

    Tennessee: Grand jury doesn’t indict student in Palin e-mail case

    I might be collecting on our little cyber-bet, Tex.


  81. I think the little brat is a jerk, but I was basing my accusation of criminality on volok, at the time I wrote that. And even though Yahoo as a ToS, it is still considered, (for the most part) private property, owned, even if that property is bits and and text variating througout a server.

    Kinda like Intellectual Property, which has less of a constitutional foundation, than Personal Property, which this was, thanks to various judgements.

    No, I’m not a lawyer, before anyone make that spurious accusation, I’m just a guy who says stuff.


  82. The ToS is not an acquittal of criminality, it is a reprieve of responsibility on Yahoo’s part.

    All the ToS means is that Yahoo isn’t responsible if stuff happens, so it’s up to you. Criminality isn’t for Yahoo to define, it’s for the state, and I think the state did a good thing this time.



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