Monthly Archives: May 2002

Cool!!!!

I'm glad at least that my replies to this stupid study are getting picked up by the news feeds… I'll do my best to keep on top of the media contacts (although I am trying to also direct local media to quality studios in their local area):

And now some good news!

FOIA

So… I'm looking at the FOIA pages on the FBI site (some blog linked the “horrible communist” Albert Einstein's file), and I thought it was interesting how many pages there were (as in how big their files were) on different ideologies. The imbalance makes it very clear that the FBI has an obvious political bias. For example:


Seems like a little?
Ku Klux Klan – 588 pages
Aryan Brotherhood – 141 pages
Adolph Hitler – 734 pages
Hell's Angels – 233 pages
Seems like a lot?
Martin Luther King Jr. – 55,896 pages
Black Panther Party – 2,895 pages
Gay Activists Alliance & GLA – 1,647 pages
Abbie Hoffman – 13,262 pages

Stoner

As I write this, I am drinking dandelion tea, and simmering on the stove is a vegetable soup, every bit of which I should have grown myself (with the exception of a few optional spices). I've been reading a lot about farming, cooking, building, and every useful skill I can get my hands on lately (partially because I need the knowledge, and partially because I'm just so excited to have to opportunity to take a part in its survival)… and I came to what at least to me seems like an important realization.

In the past, people created their own food largely independently, using simple and relatively inexpensive means. But, as industrialization had its way, our food production shifted to larger corporate farms. These farms are probably able to produce food (albeit lower quality food) for less than a single farmer can, but, thanks to the chain of markups, we are now paying five to ten times (easily) what it would have previously cost to personally produce it. Unfortunately, even if we wanted to go “back to the land”, the skills required to do so are largely forgotten. It was a trick. We were free, and we willingly made ourselves slaves.

That's part of the reason I was so happy to see this book: Stone Circles. First, to those that say that large stone structures like this have no real purpose and are in modern times at best a hippie diversion, let me remind you that large stone monuments are the only record we have of many civilizations. If you want to say something across time, say it with big stones, not some cheap modern replicant. The empty lot next to my house — a huge slab of steel reinforced concrete — has all but eroded over the past five years, whereas every huge stone on the beaches I grew up on is still there, identical to when I last saw it.

Anyway, I'm very happy to see that people are seeing the value in recording — and using and cherishing old skills. There is so much knowledge that we've traded for bags of chips and candy.

Before I start ranting on that subject, I wanted to say that I discovered another “mission” for myself that I feel is important. As I think I said a few days ago, we've recently discovered that the land in New Brunswick is auctioned off by the government for as little as $20 US per acre. My hope is to be able to, via a non-profit group, purchase as much land as I can afford to. Then I'd like to give it all away, along with small building (money) grants, to anyone willing to homestead on it. Yes, that means you.

Now that two-way high-speed satellite connections have moved to about $100 US per month, there's no excuse for not seizing opportunities like this. I actually think that it's two-way satellite internet, made possible by the ever shrinking cost of placing small satellites in orbit, that will be the real key to a 21st century “back to the land” movement. When it happened in the '20s and '60s, people really had to make compromises — that time is over. There is nothing a person has to give up for this kind of freedom any more.

Well, I'll be dead soon and I have a lot of things I still have to do before then!

PS. So do you.

Pixie

Corvettes are not good for carrying groceries! The BMEbot shirt got run today (so expect it in stock probably either this weekend or Monday). It really looks great… (And the back says “TASTES LIKE STEEL) I just thought this was a real nice boat…

Typical…

At this point, the online body jewelry market is as flooded as the porn market. Like the porn market, there are a small handful of great sites, but it's mostly low-end scams. They all sell nothing but the same old cheap Asian import jewelry; tongue “rings”, “naval” bangles amd jewelled bars, and beads that flash. On a regular basis, the owners of these sites want me to engage in their deception and ask me to take part in one way or another.

For example, I got this one today. After visiting their site, I found it a particularly unpleasant offer… I'm always open to business offers if I think it'll also do some good to someone other than just the people who end up with the money.

Subject: ******** affiliate program

Dear Shannon

I am the owner/manager of www.********.com and I'd like to propose something to you.
I noticed that your site is ranking very well on major SEs with key words relating to body piercing jewelry and we're basically competing (amongst others) for these terms. So what I'd like to suggest is to integrate out affiliate program with your existing body jewelry sites and here is why:
we're paying 20% commission on all retail sales
our average sale is $48.00
our conversion rate is about 70 visitors/sale
and most of all: I don't want to be bothered with ranking our site anymore since you're going to be ahead anyway. I'd rather concentrate on customer service and fulfillment.
We know that a 20% commission is quite high, so we're not advertising our affiliate program on our web site to avoid that customers might think we're overprized.
If you're interested, you can sign up here: http://******** and just give it a try.
I would appreciate it if you'd let me know if you're not interested too (no offence taken) so I can look at other options.

Kind regards
********
www.********.com

Not only did he have the gall to ask me to take part in something utterly distasteful, he actually tried to say that we were somehow competitors, implying we do the same thing! My reply (and I've sent these quite often) was the same as always:

You are importing and selling extremely low-end jewelry, and if you know anything about piercing, you are doing this knowingly. In effect, you are hurting the industry, and more importantly, you are hurting the public. It would be extremely unethical for me to pledge any public support in your direction.

So… If you run a cruddy jewelry distributor, NO, I don't want to send traffic your way. If you are an importer, NO, I don't want to purchase wholesale. If you are a manufacturer, NO, I don't want to be a distributor. If you've got an ethically run company making a high-quality product, yes, we'd love to work with you.