Thursday, November 05, 2009

My Enemies List: Addendum #4

It has been about two months since I last made additions to my enemies list, but I think I have found two more worthy entries for it.

Andrew Schlafly: Whenever I do one of these lists, there is usually one wingnut. Some are easy to recognize, some are very difficult. This entry is almost wearing a t-shirt that says they are in great big letters. You see, the reason that Mr. Schlafly is on this list is because I was looking at wikis this week, and he started the Conservapedia. The reason why he did so, and some of the subsequent incidents because of it are the reason why he is made this list. Schlafly has stated that he felt that Wikipedia has a "liberal, anti-Christian, and anti-American" bias. I could bring up a Stephen Colbert's quip that "Reality has a well-known liberal bias" as well, but that would be mean on my part. Some of the reasons he has seemed to find the site anti-American is due to the fact that non-Americans can edit the site from their own point of view and with their own take on the English spelling (British spelling is evil you know), and it is anti-Christian because the accepted date format is CE rather than AD amongst other things. He has been miffed that his edits of Wikipedia seemed to get deleted at times within a minute of posting, and has taken that as a sign that the whole thing is liberal, rather than as a sign that he may be a crank, and yet on his side of the Wiki aisle, there is very little freedom to express one's self outside of an agreed upon version of Conservative Christian orthodoxy. I've even heard rumors that editing is closed on Conservapedia during what are twilight hours in North America. There is the Lenski affair, and a spurious complaint to the FBI because someone edited a number of pages on the site by changing "Christianity" to "Ethnic Identity", the upshot of which is now people are getting permabanned for even mentioning the FBI on the site. But the topper for all this, the thing that proves just how nutty Schlafly is is the fact that he is spearheading an effort to take liberal influences out of the Bible... which includes the passage about He who is Without Sin, Cast the First Stone and Jesus asking God to forgive the people who crucified him. This is of course, just the tip of the iceberg.

Canadian Cable Companies: I have to preface this by saying that I live in an area that may or may not lose its local stations. There is a battle between local television stations and their networks and the Canadian Cable Companies. The cable television companies, who as far as I know have territorial monopolies (although maybe there is competition in places like Toronto and Montreal), and are carrying local stations on their systems without compensating those stations for their content. Those stations want some compensation, especially since as I understand it, cable viewers cannot be counted when they sell advertising on the station. What's more, the cable companies pay American stations to air them on the system, and yet, somehow they've gotten around that with local broadcasters, despite the fact that they are getting paid for doing so. When local stations started to complain and they banded together to get the revenues that they are owned with a series of television ads explaining the situation, the cable companies responded with a series of commercials of their own, making it seem like the local stations were being paid and were just trying to extort 10 dollars a month from subscribers, which is sheer chutzpah on two level. One as I mention, the local stations are getting dime one from the cable companies and two, where this 10 dollar fee came from is a mystery since the parties involved haven't even started negotiating over this, which to me tells me that the cable companies plan on instituting a new charge no matter what happens, even if the CRTC (the Canadian equivalent of the FCC) says they can't pass on the local TV payments to consumers. The CRTC declared that cable companies couldn't charge customers for a payment they are supposed to make to support independent productions in Canada, but somehow, cable bills went up the same amount that the cable companies are supposed to be paying into that account. But I am going to tell you a little story that might demonstrate why I have a hard time believing anything the cable companies have to say at the moment. Back in 2003, our cable system was slowly making the transition from a purely analog system to a two tier system with basic analog cable with a set of digital channels with a box for the higher channels. During this transition, the Canadian equivalent of HBO was on both the analog and digital dial, until one day, it just disappeared from analog, which was what I was watching it on. So I call the cable company and tell them my problem, that the station disappeared without warning, and the guy on the other end, without missing a beat, says that what I say isn't possible... because that channel was never on analog. Right... a channel that I had watched for 7 years was never on the system. So I am a liar then and my previous experiences were a hallucination. I mean, that is a much more likely explanation than say this one: you wanted subscribers to move up to the digital package, and you didn't want to send a letter telling analog subscribers that you were in fact discontinuing that channel for them like you had for so many other changes. Telling your customers they are liars is always a great policy, isn't it?


Kristyn said...

I checked out your list of enemies and I think you and I would get along remarkably!

On these two, I have only to say that I know nothing, except what you've said, about Canadian Cable companies. I haven't found a good cable company here, either, so you're not alone. I use DirecTV, who I don't particular like but are better than cable.

Also, anyone who decides something as inane as Wikipedia is anti-Christian and anti-American (things too often appearing together, in my opinion)has too much time on their hands. The worst it should ever be accused of is being un-scholarly. It's still a good reference.

Besides, his creating something like "Conservapedia" because he's insulted by Wikipedia's perceived liberal, anti-Christian, anti-American bias is a bit hypocritical. After all, isn't he creating something that has a conservative, anti-secular bias? It can't be both ways, in my opinion.

MC said...

The Satellite companies are banding together with the cable companies against the local tv stations/networks, so they aren't clean in all this either.

And Schlafly (who is Phyllis Schlafly's son), is looking for conformity and some place he can control. Even those who was telling him to back down in the Lenski affair were admonished/punished by himself or his lackeys at that faux pedia site.

The subtitle of that site: The Trustworthy Encyclopedia should also remind you of another right wing media outlet that claims it is fair and balanced.

Arjan said...

1) That is just laughable. It proves he's taking himself far to serious.

2) Cable companies can be evil wretches..they still haven't come up with a decent solution for more than 2 people living in one appartment who would like more than 2 tv's to be able to watch digital (let alone HD!) tv.

Arjan said...

@ my #2..thats overhere..

MC said...

Most people who appear on this list do take themselves remarkably seriously.

chelfea said...

Thank goodness for Conservapedia! It's for REAL AMERICANS who believe in FREEDOM and WAVING FLAGS and SHOUTING DOWN THE OPPOSITION! and using EXCLAMATION POINTS because our rhetoric is underdeveloped and we must rely on punctuation as a crutch!

Hmm, you may have inspired a blog post...

p.s. word verification is "rheotor." so close to rhetoric; so close to my heart.

Arjan said...

I came across this comic about the conservative thing.

MC said...

Chelfea: Don't you just love it when you catch someone doing something dubious when you are having a discussion with someone online... you know, like skipping the bulk of your argument to focus on some little jokey thing you said in the forum... yeah, that's all kinds of rhetorical special right there. The people who work on Conservapedia are those kinds of people.

Arjan: I think it is funny that those were the pets of the last two administrations.

Arjan said...

@ MC: the whole comic is based on the pets of the administrations.
It began during the election period letting the pets tell the story from all sides and the writer decided to keep it going.