The One Telco Exec Who Resisted The NSA Has Been Released From 4+ Years In Jail

from the tell-it-like-it-is dept

If you were around during the reign of Joe Nacchio at Qwest, you already should be aware that he was not particularly well-liked. He was brash and obnoxious and often rubbed people the wrong way. There's a famous story, for example, of him calling up an executive at US West, a company that Qwest bought, which had a building directly across the street from Qwest's headquarters. Moments after the buyout closed, Nacchio got the exec on the phone and supposedly told him he had 15 minutes to change the sign on the building from US West to Qwest. Qwest collapsed in a somewhat spectacular manner not long after that, with some comparing it to the Enron collapse -- a lot of hype and stock pumping built on very little substance. A few years later, Nacchio was famously convicted of insider trading -- and certainly many people who had witnessed his earlier antics reveled in that result.

However, it was only later that it started to come out that Nacchio was alone among all of the major telco execs to tell the NSA to get lost when they came calling, demanding the ability to basically tap Qwest's entire network. For years, Nacchio has insisted that the entire lawsuit against him was retaliation for his refusal. When he first made those claims, it sounded far fetched and ridiculous. However, in the intervening years, as more and more details of the NSA's activities have become clear, Nacchio's initial arguments seem a hell of a lot more plausible.

It turns out that Nacchio was just released from prison after his 54 month sentence was completed. The WSJ has an odd but entertaining (and unfortunately paywalled -- though, you can get around it if you Google the title) article about his life in prison, where he apparently came out much healthier than he went in (lots of exercise) and is now best buddies with some former drug dealers who had his back in prison. One of whom, who goes by the name Spoonie, calls Nacchio "Joe-ski-luv" and says that they're best friends. "If he ever needs a lung or a bone, I'm there." Right.

But, more interesting is the tidbit further down about the NSA stuff:

Mr. Nacchio said he still believes his insider-trading prosecution was government retaliation for rebuffing requests in 2001 from the National Security Agency to access his customers' phone records. His plans to use that belief as a defense at trial never materialized; some of the evidence he wanted to use was deemed classified and barred from being introduced.

To Mr. Nacchio, the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked documents saying the agency monitors the email and phone records of Americans, have justified his own stance. He contended the NSA's request was illegal.

"I feel vindicated," he said. "I never broke the law, and I never will."

An NSA spokeswoman declined to comment.
I would imagine that Nacchio could add quite a bit of useful information to the ongoing debate. And, in fact, it appears he intends to do so, with plans to write a book about "Americans' loss of liberty based on his experiences with the NSA and other government agencies." I look forward to reading it.



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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Well, he may be an asshole, but he's an asshole that was right

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 27th, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    You mean our overlords will use the law to break people who don't give into their demands, legal or otherwise?

    shocked... just shocked...

    that the people who called these ideas the musings of crackpots seem to have a big freaking plate of crow to start eating.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    Could one sue the government for something like that?

    If there's one case the suspect could use a piece of classified information as defense but somehow got barred because it's classified. Then if that "someone" goes to jail because of this, can he sue the government or else for unfair trial if the material is declassified later and proves he has the case.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Re:

    I wish more execs would stand up for the rights that every single American are entitled to from the moment we're born until we die.
    Greater good or not is irrelevant when it comes to the foundation this nation was built upon. These things are non negotiable plain and simple.

    Snowden should have never happened.
    This Exec should have never happened.
    WikiLeaks should have never happened.

    I don't mean that the should have kept their mouths shut I just mean the officials we entrust this nations power to should not be betraying us. We used 9/11 to destroy the American dream and that makes me sick.

    I love what my country is supposed to stand for.
    I should love my government

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    Every time I see something like this, it reminds me what a brazilian politico said in public once.

    It was memorably summed up in a phrase attributed to President Getulio Vargas - who ran Brazil with the backing of the military from 1930 to 1945, then as a democratically-elected leader from 1951 until his suicide in 1954.

    "For my friends, anything - for my enemies, the law," he is reported to have said, highlighting the way in which Brazilians are seen as prizing personal loyalties over other social responsibilities.

    BBC: Ruses that spring from Brazil's woes

    It also reminds me of Tony the evil one.
    Quote:
    Magalhães was also known for his harsh treatment of opponents of the regime as well as his ability to make deals which led to some of his opponents dubbing him "Toninho Malvaldeza" (Tony Evil).

    Wikipedia: Antônio Carlos Magalhães

    You think those things should happen only in other countries but not in the US, but that would be naive, politics in America are every bit as ruthless as anywhere else, we have our own evil ones too.

     

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    michael, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    Joe Ski Love was a rapper in the early '80s. I recommend you check out his "PeeWee's Dance" on YouTube.

     

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    Annie (profile), Sep 27th, 2013 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Im interested in this:

    "I love what my country is supposed to stand for."

    What exactly is America supposed to stand for?

    Annie

     

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  8.  
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    Prokofy Neva (profile), Sep 27th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

    No Proof

    You mean, he's still a dirt-bag and is still making up stuff to try to distract from that fact.

    We have no evidence that the NSA is grabbing the *content* of our communications deliberately, with human eyes destroying our privacy. Machine gathering of some meta data and even some whole texts (although not proven in a court of law) would still not mean a privacy erosion if it were not *looked at* and *used* to mount unlawful surveillance or arrest.

    He was not arrested for this supposed refusal involving the NSA, but for insider trading.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

    This will be one book neither the government nor the NSA will want published. If Joe hedges it well enough not to encounter the classified clause, then certainly pressure will be brought to bear on the publishers not to publish the book. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Snowden's leaks will have far reaching ripples and this could be one of them. The politicians of this country that enabled the laws to be twisted this way may or may not want to straighten them out. Other governments will not be so appeasing. I also suspect the BRIC countries will make moves to change their methods of communications before it is all over with. No matter what happens here in this country, the ripples will continue for some years to come.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sure he means all those things that we say in school, and the pledge, and the anthem, and every instance and every time we refer to America as being a land of the free and home of the brave (which we do FAR more than most any other country does), but most of us already know is complete bullshit that hasn't applied to America as it stands for almost a century.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 27th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    Re:

    Thankfully these days you don't actually need a standard publisher, there are a whole slew of sites out there to sell a book on, or if he believes it's more important to get the word on on what happened, rather than make a profit off of it he could always just put the book up for download.

     

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    Annie (profile), Sep 27th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

    Re: America stands for this...

    "I'm sure he means all those things that we say in school, and the pledge, and the anthem, and every instance and every time we refer to America as being a land of the free and home of the brave (which we do FAR more than most any other country does), but most of us already know is complete bullshit that hasn't applied to America as it stands for almost a century."

    Indeed, just checking the BS meter and wondering how many Americans still subscribe to the propaganda. Most people believe what they're told to believe while children, and those beliefs are hard to change when they're adult.

    Land of the free? Bollocks. Home of the brave? Bollocks. Land of the psychopathic cowboy with spurs that jingle-jangle-jingle? Without a doubt, Americans just love to shoot up people and when they can't do it to a smaller, poor and often defenceless nation, why then they do it to themselves in their schools and Navy yards.

    Americans badly need to wake up to the way the rest of the world sees them, and it isn't pretty.

    Annie

     

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    Annie (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 12:04am

    Re:

    ""For my friends, anything - for my enemies, the law," he is reported to have said, highlighting the way in which Brazilians are seen as prizing personal loyalties over other social responsibilities.

    Most of the 2n and 3rd worlds prize personal relationships above the law and principle, it's their culture. But make no mistake, the Americans are equally rapacious and corrupt, they just try harder to conceal it and trust that if their propaganda has worked then none of the other 200m Americans will have the intellect or the drive to expose them and throw them out.

    Across the world, personal relationships trump principle and law every time. The yanks are always good at spotting the mote in other people's eyes, but not so good as espying the beam in their own.

    Hypocritical? Yes. Pathological? Frequently. Will it change? Not for as long as Americans like to feel good about themselves more than they like to have an honest and truly world-leading nation. As opposed to the fiction they have right now.

    Annie

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Integrity, fraternity, liberty.

    None of which seem to be in large supply for the élites.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Flunky, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 6:08am

    Purple Power suits

    First time I saw Joe, he had on a Purple Power Suit with a bright yellow tie. He just bought our company, and he was giving us the "You better kick ass or I'll Fire You" speech. I'm convinced he was doing insider trading. I'm also convinced every other telco CEO was doing it too. We had stacks of equipment along the hall where I worked we couldn't use. But it came with a stock deal, or so the rumor goes.
    I can believe that he was prosecuted because of insider trading. The catch is, a bunch of other CEO's should have joined him.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 6:10am

    Justice system is broken

    If evidence you can use as a defense is "classified" then it should be too bad for the prosecution. This guy was apparently denied his right to a fair trial

     

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    dd, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    corrupt government

    Obama will negotiate with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Obama won't negotiate with Americans. Obama uses his IRS for government coercion. Obama allows his NSA to spy on the world, including Americans. The US media supports Obama. Natchio was clearly the victim of the corrupt US government and the corrupt media. We live in China, now!

     

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  18.  
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    Sgu3 (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re:

    Tell you what Annie.

    I stand aside. As a card carrying Yank, I'll happily stand aside and let you form a nation that is superior, better, and stands up for it's moral principles, pays it's debts, has a government without corruption, feeds the poor, and defends the weak, and never ever does ANYTHING that doesn't benefit other nations before itself. By all means. Please!

    Then, perhaps we can watch how you fix these problems you find so easy to point out now. And like you, we'll be snide and laugh and point fingers, and tell each other how much better we are than you. Or if you succeed, we'll immigrate.

    What are the goals of your nation? What does your nation stand for? Does the rest of the world care? Probably not. Funny that.

    And if you're an American? Lead. Vote. Leave. Whatever.

    S.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: corrupt government

    Not just Obama. So did Bush, and keep in mind all Obama's programs have support of congress and the supreme court.
    So yes, you have a horribly corrupt government, but don't try to blame it on one person: the whole thing is rotten.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Man in the middle?

    Has the NSA done man in the middle attacks?

    Ask the Qwest exec if they've giving themselves the right to fake communications, and since communications are used as evidence in prosecutions, have they given themselves the right to write evidence?

    Do they man-in-the-middle?

    I wonder because the Lavabit letter. Did they want to spoof Snowden or simply observe him?

    The DEA fake evidence springs to mind. If they MITM, then we can't trust email as evidence because it could be NSA created fake email.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    let's face it, once you're in the cross hairs, unless you're Jason Bourne, you are not only in deepest shit, you wont ever find a way out. evidence can easily be concocted to incriminate a person and when evidence that you know exists is deemed 'secret', or in the interests of 'National Security' to remain undisclosed, even though that information may well prove your innocence and their guilt and contains absolutely nothing of danger to 'National Security' in the slightest, you are well and truly screwed!!

     

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  22.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, tetchy when asked for details and presented with facts.

    As a psychologist I can tell you that many people feel that way when what they have held as beliefs for a long time are challenged.

    My nation has similar psychological problems, but less advanced. But we aren;t talking about my country, we're talking about your country, and 'you do better nyeh nyeh' is hardly a mature response.

    Wich I think goes some way to demonstrating my original point. That only by learning to see themselves as others see them will Americans emerge from the pathological wet dream they appear to have manufactured. And which they then seem determined to export and impose on everyone else. Now might think there is no poverty in America, no racial discrimination and profiling, no homelessness and nobody coming ut of school knowing how to read and write. These are all things you could address which are more important than attempting to pillage yet another largely Moslem country for its oil and gas.

    Get off your horses, lose your spurs and shed the self-image that somehow you lead the world in anything but thievery and corruption, then more people may take you guys seriously.

    Annie

     

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    CommonSense (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: America stands for this...

    I think we're very much waking up to that, and we realize it isn't pretty, but hey, if you want to be honest, let's be totally honest: The rest of the world should realize, especially with all these leaked revelations, that the American government has not been acting with the approval or in the best interests of the American people for quite some time. That cowboy image applies well to our government...but our people deal with problems of their own just like people in every other country. Troubled kids shooting up schools is not a good example to generalize into "Americans," considering what a ridiculously small percentage it is. It's like generalizing all Muslims as terrorists, and we should all know by now that's not true, not appropriate to insinuate, and insulting to millions of people who do not deserve it.

    CommonSense

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: America stands for this...

    Land of the free? Bollocks. Home of the brave? Bollocks. Land of the psychopathic cowboy with spurs that jingle-jangle-jingle? Without a doubt, Americans just love to shoot up people and when they can't do it to a smaller, poor and often defenceless nation, why then they do it to themselves in their schools and Navy yards.

    So you'll buy into the negative propaganda, but not the positive. I've yet to meet anyone who actually meets this stereotype.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re:

    I see little evidence of your assertions that your blanket statements concerning Americans are true. Overall, it is an almost accurate generalization, but as with any generalization it fails on its face. It comes right back to how politicians act. People are dumb. They truly are, as a group, violent, reactive, and just plain stupid. In smaller segments, however, people can be quite intelligent. That is the problem with your generalizations. It's the cause of bias based on citizenship the world over.

     

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  26.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: Could one sue the government for something like that?

    What I want to know is, how can the government refuse to admit exonerating evidence (when they're the ones who decide what's classified) and yet continue with the prosecution? That's not justice. The prosecution should have to choose whether they want to admit the evidence (under seal) or drop the case.

     

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  27.  
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    FM HIlton, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    One adage worth remembering

    Once you get the government mad at you, it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong.

    Truth doesn't matter, nor does moral righteousness.

    They're going to win the game, and the loser will be you doing time in Federal prison.

    Evidence can and will be 'lost', witnesses can be bought off and the truth can be buried.

    They play to win and they never lose.

    I know this to be true. It's not fun.

     

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  28.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Purple Power suits

    Which just further supports the idea that the reason they went after him was retaliatory in nature, not just due to the crime he was charged with.

     

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  29.  
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    Another anonymous coward, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    most of us already know is complete bullshit that hasn't applied to America as it stands for almost a century


    I hope you don't mean to imply that overall the US got worse during the last almost-a-century. Almost a century ago was when the US had Jim Crow, and if you go even further back you get to slavery and native genocide.

     

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    DSS10 (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    As an ex-Qwest employee who worked in the executive staff, it was the the Qwest legal department that said that the records should not be released. They were worried that Qwest would be liable if they released the records. Nacchio was a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and he really got off on it and like to brown nose the government officials and was pissed with the chief council and the board backed the decision. If you want to know about Nacchio, read the transcript of his sentence reduction testimony then read the statements in the WSJ story. The man is a psychopath. I know because I have seen it. I think that this quote the WSJ story best describes the man:

    "I can't wait for the first person to come up to me and say something to me" about the conviction, he said. "I'm going to look them in the eye and say, 'You must be confusing me with someone who gives a f— about your opinion.' "

    As to his conviction, he was soooooo lucky that Justice was so poorly run and funded. He could have been caught for so much more like wire fraud and conspiracy for the KPNQwest bankruptcy, fraudulent SEC fillings, and securities fraud for the original USWest acquisition. In any event he should still have about 300MM in the bank and the house on Mansion Dr in Mendham NJ, the House in Jupiter Fl, and the shore house so its like nothing happened except he spent a few years guarded by goons which is just like he did at AT&T and Qwest....

     

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  31.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    While acknowledging what you say, this bit is nonsense: "Troubled kids shooting up schools is not a good example to generalize into "Americans," considering what a ridiculously small percentage it is."

    Its like saying that AIDS is not a problem because it only affects a ridiculously small percentage of the population, or that the Wall Street pillagers should not be prosecuted because they're only a small percentage of the population.

    One should not look at the perpetration rate but at the social impact, and the social impact of the gun-toting, swaggering cowboy Americans is dire. Just dire.

    None-the less, I really do hope you are right and that Americans are starting to awaken from their propaganda-driven nightmare. It's about time.

    Annie

     

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  32.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    Well, that's as may be, it is a caricature and the caricature can be descriptive even if it is not descriptive of any individual person. That's the nature of caricature - and statistics. The characterisation I made explains all of the obnoxious aspects of America, even though it may not describe any single person.

    America needs to take care of business in America. Personally, when it has no poverty, when all children can read and wite when they leave school and when the yardie gangsta culture (one of the biggest impact and disastrous exports to UK (for example). When all this has been fixed. along with AIDS infection rate and the drug abuse rate, then I will take morality and 'Godliness' lessons from America. Until then, you guys just make fools of yourselves.when you sermonise.

    Obama: "America shines a light on the world". Not in this universe it doesn't. maybe in some parallel universe. Obama the Hopeless is now firmly in the same category as Ronnie Raygun and 'Dubya' Bush. Everything about America and Americans can be explained by the fact that they elected these intellectually and emotionally handicapped people to represent them.

    Annie.

     

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  33.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I see little evidence of your assertions that your blanket statements concerning Americans are true."

    Indeed. I believe you. And that my friend is the problem. That's the reputation you have and yet you just don't see it.

    I am reminded of 2 goldfish swimming around in a goldfish bowl. One turns to the other and says "You know, I really pity the little people who don't live in this wonderful place, don't you?"

    "People are dumb. They truly are, as a group, violent, reactive, and just plain stupid. In smaller segments, however, people can be quite intelligent."

    So having said my characterizations are wrong you go right ahead and say 'People are dumb". Right.

    "That is the problem with your generalizations". Well, that's the nature of generalizations I suppose. Like statistics, they represent large samples (for which they are often accurate), but when applied to small samples they are less useful.

    Have you ever wondered why and how generalizations become generalizations? You should do. It's either because they're right or it isn't. Which one do you think it is?

    Annie.

     

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    nasch (profile), Sep 28th, 2013 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's the reputation you have and yet you just don't see it.

    I believe he was pointing out that your generalizations about Americans are false, not that your generalizations about America's reputation are false.

    Have you ever wondered why and how generalizations become generalizations? You should do. It's either because they're right or it isn't. Which one do you think it is?

    Did you just claim that all generalizations are true? Because it's the opposite - all generalizations are false, including this one.

     

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  35.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Did you just claim that all generalizations are true?

    Nope, that's not what I said. Straw man alert…

    "Because it's the opposite - all generalizations are false, including this one.""

    Right.

    On rainy days, it generally rains.

    Just as wrong as wrong can be - right? Gotcha.

    lol

    Annie

     

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  36.  
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    Annie, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I believe he was pointing out that your generalizations about Americans are false, not that your generalizations about America's reputation are false."

    As people, we are all defined by what we do, and rightly so. Our reputations are accumulated based on what we do and how what we do is interpreted. Therefore we tend to be what our reputations suggest we are. Hence, Nigerians are scammers, Germans are efficient, Italians design beautiful cars, Britons are a pain in the ass, and Americans are bullies.

    Of course its a generalization. Generalisations are how we make sense of and survive in the world. If you don't generalize then you'd be quite happy to go down to Harlem with a Ku Klux Klan teeshirt. But of course, you wouldn't, because you generalize as to the how the people would respond to that.

    See? Generalising is how we survive.

    That'll be $10 for the education please, will that be cash or a cheque?

    Annie

     

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    nasch (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hence, Nigerians are scammers, Germans are efficient, Italians design beautiful cars, Britons are a pain in the ass, and Americans are bullies.

    You're an idiot. So what country does that mean you come from?

     

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    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    America I should think. Seems like I fit right in.

    But let me guess. Everyone who makes you feel inadequate is an idiot - right? And I'm not alone am I my friend? You feel that way about a lot of people. Ah. If only they would see your real worth - right? As you think about it you can put faces to all the people who've made you feel bad about yourself. See them now, like ghosts who'll be with you all your life. So many ghosts.

    Sort of proves my point about America really, badly needs to attand to its uneducated classes and forget about invading more defenceless countries.

    Still, have a nice day. I imagine you could use a few.

    Annie.

     

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    crh, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Annie,
    Your entire argument is a big straw man. You cannot see it through the fumes of your own shit you have convinced yourself does not stink.

    How does it feel to be so smug and so wrong at the same time?

     

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    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    "How does it feel to be so smug and so wrong at the same time?"

    Well… tell me which bits I'm wrong about and what is the right version - that way you do something useful instead of just venting. That way I'll think your knees aren't just jerking because you read some comments you don't like but can't argue against.

    But try and keep the comments polite and try to avoid vulgarity in word or imagery. That way I'll be able to take you seriously.

    Annie

     

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  41.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Generalizing is how the weak minded and insecure survive.

    Nigerians are people, and just like in EVERY other country, some scam and some don't. But just like in every other country, the exported news is selective so you don't hear about all the great things people do in Nigeria, just about the scams.

    Generalizing is how you become a bigot.

    also, comparing rainy days to people is absolutely ridiculous. The only valid comparison to in generally rains on rainy days is that people generally breathe when they are alive. You see, you have to find something common among ALL of them, and breathing plus a heartbeat is about all there is that matches that criteria. Please, take your prejudice elsewhere, because we're trying to clean that up and having to shovel your shit as well isn't going to help us any.

    Common Sense

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    FM HIlton, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    An attitude of distance

    I've read this thread about 3 times, gauging what Annie has written and what others have written about in rebuttal.

    Defending an weak argument against other answers using a weak argument does not make you a proper debater.

    It makes you look petty and mean-spirited.

    Sure, you can generalize all you want about America, and you can pin point all of our faults until the cows come home.

    It does not mean all Americans are stupid, or that we're so weak-minded as to not know what the world thinks of our "cowboy" reputation. Some of us even are ashamed of being Americans, and apologize for it.

    We don't all approve of our incredibly lazy, corrupt and inefficient government. We don't like it when we go to war with smaller countries for less than rational or even legal reasons.

    But for all the 'evil' we do, it can be said fairly that the US is still the first place most immigrants choose to land.

    That must mean something, right?

     

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  43.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you're living in an English speaking nation right now then it would seem your leaders are mostly accounted for. NATO member nation? The UK? US?

    My point? There is a block of nations whose politics have been corrupted. Every nation is a bully in their own right. History makes that apparent as well. Now it again apparent that the bullying of a single government has clearly been directed at the governed. Yah, that's never happened either.

    Generally speaking freedom is being free, free to make your own decisions, free from being told what to do, free from manipulation and subservience and being cognizant of the freedoms of others. Governments can not abide by that and neither can a lot of individuals. Governments, by their nature, filter freedoms, and are diametrically opposed to freedom. It's a delicate balance, assuredly, but your clearly prejudiced generalizations belie present reality and the surging groundswell of activities that certain countries are claiming rights to.

    What America is supposed to be is a country full of people that don't take kindly to being told what to do, down to a person. Americans are now being trained to both stay in line and to tow it. Five eyes and a hundred ears.

    Americans, by their nature, are no better and no worse than any other standing citizen of any other nation.

    American empire will eat itself. American principles, the founding principles, are distinctly applicable globally, to a person. I think that is "American".

    Governments govern, tyrannies rule. Who lives where?

     

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  44.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: Man in the middle?

    I do believe that ship has sailed.

    Mr. Schneier has some coverage of possibilities realized. https://www.schneier.com/

    Here's a recent one that is relevant: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/09/new_nsa_leak_sh.html

     

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  45.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    .. struggles to resist urges and temptations for testing the depths of vulgarity in all of it's worldly manifestations .. is conflicted with striving to care about being taken seriously..

    ... wins both battles.


    Because Football!

     

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  46.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Everyone who makes you feel inadequate is an idiot - right?

    If you think you can make me feel inadequate, you're having delusions of significance.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 7:44pm

    Re: An attitude of distance

    "It does not mean all Americans are stupid, or that we're so weak-minded as to not know what the world thinks of our "cowboy" reputation. Some of us even are ashamed of being Americans, and apologize for it."

    Correct, that's the nature of statistics. delete +/- 5% from each end of the normal distribution curve and you can draw conclusions about the majority. Oh, sorry, that's called generalizing isn't it?

    "But for all the 'evil' we do, it can be said fairly that the US is still the first place most immigrants choose to land. "

    Evidence? I think you'll find it depends on where they are. Europeans for example, head for Germany and UK.

    "That must mean something, right?"

    Yes, it means that the standard of living in America is still higher than in Swaziland, and probably that the opportunities to become self-made men by thieving from other people are better. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but its always interesting to see how quickly the illiterate resort to ad-hominem and sweeping generalizations of their own, while criticizing my better-founded generalizations.

    It was ever thus, and this bigotry and "I'm right and you're wrong but I cant/won't support that contention because I don't have to because I'm an American" 's a part of the problem you guys face every day.

    Annie

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK, I can agree with most of that. It has a lot less BS than many of the other responses and shows intelligence instead of just animus and stupidity. I believe you are right.

    Annie

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    Thanks for making the point clear.

    If you are something and just have no conception of being that, then it speaks volume for one's perception.

    To slag off other people because you find their qualified opinion unpalatable is the epitome of inadequacy.

    We all do something well, even the most humble among us. Inadequacy is what you do well, or so it seems, and the fact that you do not perceive it is of absolutely no concern to me. I'm sure it has wrought havoc in your life already so I shan't need to labour the point, you do that pretty well yourself my friend.

    But have a great day, I'm sure you could use a few of those.

    Annie

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oops, an orphan.

    Thanks for making the point clear.

    If you are something and just have no conception of being that, then it speaks volume for one's perception.

    To slag off other people because you find their qualified opinion unpalatable is the epitome of inadequacy.

    We all do something well, even the most humble among us. Inadequacy is what you do well, or so it seems, and the fact that you do not perceive it is of absolutely no concern to me. I'm sure it has wrought havoc in your life already so I shan't need to labour the point, you do that pretty well yourself my friend.

    But have a great day, I'm sure you could use a few of those.

    Annie

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 29th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Generalizing is how the weak minded and insecure survive."
    "Generalizing is how you become a bigot."

    Actually no, its how we all survive. If you don;t know how to generalize and draw action-supporting decisions then you die. If you are crossing a road and a bus comes, do you assume it will stop like a motor scooter and head across the road? No, you generalize and project, and you realize that the bus is less easy to stop than a motor scooter. So you live.

    If you would like me to recommend a couple of good courses or books on nbehavioural psychology, then I would be happy to assist. That way you may realize where your own world-view came from. Might make you a smarter person maybe, it would certainly make you less wrong.

    "Nigerians are people, and just like in EVERY other country, some scam and some don't. But just like in every other country, the exported news is selective so you don't hear about all the great things people do in Nigeria, just about the scams."

    Correct, they generalise. I should write to the editor if I were you, perhaps they will pay attention to you.

    "also, comparing rainy days to people is absolutely ridiculous."

    I wasn't doing that, sorry it was too complicated. I was pointing out to some other guy that generalizations are not the work of the devil, but useful psychological strategies with a purpose. But I think the point went over his head. Yours too it seems.

    Annie

     

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  52.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 29th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    Qualified opinion, lol! Go on, this is amusing. Tell me more about how inadequate I am.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re:

    Well (and this must be my final note on this thread), I'm sure you don't really need me to make you feel inadequate, you only rail against me because I remind you of it.

    None-the-less, at the end of the day, I have a pretty piece of paper saying I have a Masters degree in counselling psychology. You probably have a pretty piece of paper saying you can drive a car.

    I thick I know which carries the more weight, but I'll let you work that out for yourself. It'll boost your self-esteem to be able to.

    Over and out. Enough is as good as a feast and my point about generalizations has been made for anyone with an IQ higher than a potato.

    Have a great day.

    Annie

     

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  54.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    I always say it. People criticize how Americans seem to think they are the center of the world. But they do the same. They criticize Americans for clinging to stereotypes. But they are the same. They criticize Americans for something their damned Government is doing when the Americans themselves don't agree with all that shit. And in their homes it's the same.

    Either hypocrisy or lack of awareness. Still both a common human trace (me included).

     

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  55.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I have a pretty piece of paper saying I have a Masters degree in counselling psychology.

    I was having fun until I read that. That is just depressing that a counselor would act like this. Of course, you might be lying...

     

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  56.  
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    MadMatt (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    America... do we mean North or South? When I went to school there were these big continental masses called North and South America. On the northern continent there was this country that occupies less than half of it called the United States of America. The residents of this country for reasons only understood by them appear to constantly appropriate the continental name as their Nationality. I am not sure if it is poor education, laziness or conceit. They also have some other remarkable statistics in their country.

    They have the highest prison population in the world both in total number and percentage of population. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prisons/html/nn2page1.stm

    They are home to the NRA, as terrorist organisations go, I have seen those loonies interviewed,they frighten me far more than any Muslim Jihad. AND they are the Stereotypical US citizen rabid, ignorant and incapable of logical argument. If in doubt listen to there guys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZb8EXUrQTo Dave Keene does not even know his nationality.

     

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  57.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course, you might be lying...


    Maybe it's just me, but this Annie person's style and presentation seem very similar to those comments from Tara Carreon awhile ago.

    Like my Momma always said: "Don't argue with crazy."

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ooh. Paranoia. Wonderful.

    When did your Mommy decide not to argue with crazy my friend? Do you remember?

    Annie

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This may come as a surprise to you but we weren't taught that we had to abide by your rather odd conceptions. Stick with driving cars my friend, that's probably something you know a bit about. Leave the rest to people who have an education - and try not to assume you know anything about what you don't know anything about.

    Just a piece of friendly advice but you're welcome to have the last word. I suspect you quite like to have the last word - sort of recover your feelings of street-cred, in your own eyes at least.

    Annie

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    Indeed.

    "I am not sure if it is poor education, laziness or conceit."

    Yes.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one in here with a dismal view of America and Americans. Some years ago, I was enchanted to hear some numbskull saying how she expected to do well commercially in Australia. "After all" she said (presumably with a straight face though it was on the radio so I only had her voice to go on), "they are American-speaking over there".

    I had to stop the car I was laughing so hard. The Auussies refer to Americans as 'septic tanks" presumably on account of what they're full of… but that's just a guess.

    Annie.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Like my Momma always said: "Don't argue with crazy."

    Indeed. Seems like she can't shut up, either, which is cool. Definitely much more entertaining than ootb.

     

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  62.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: America stands for this...

    It's not like those things at all... Valid comparisons would be trying to say that every African has AIDS, or that every American is a Wall Street pillager, but those do not work as generalizations because the percentages are so small... AIDS and other pillagers are problems no matter their size, but that's not at all what I'm discussing.

    What you're doing is twisting my words to make it look like I think troubled kids are not a problem that we should deal with, but that's not what I said, nor what I think. There was a school shooting in a different country the other day, but surely you're not ready to say that everyone in that country is a gun-toting, bullet happy, cowboy, are you?

     

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  63.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you should look up what generalize actually means in the dictionary, because what you describe about a bus and a motor scooter is not a generalization... It's not at all a generalization to say that busses stop slower than motor scooters, that's a fact.

    On rainy days, it always rains, that's not a generalization, that's a fact. If it wasn't raining, it wouldn't be a rainy day.

    I don't think you have as solid a grasp on these concepts as you think you do, and I'll thank you to take your American-Style over-inflated ego and the arrogance that comes with it over to the saloon, with the cowboys you claim to hate but act just like. I do not need education offers from someone so willing to display their own lack of it.

     

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  64.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ooh. Paranoia. Wonderful.

    Paranoia?

    Do you care to elaborate upon your mystical psychic diagnosis 'Oh Wise and Wonderful Keeper of Humankind's Entire Knowledge Base?

    Why would I be paranoid (or even really give two shits about) some random crazy commenter on the internet? I was just making an observation.



    When did your Mommy decide not to argue with crazy my friend? Do you remember?

    My apologies. I am not very fluent in crazy-talk. What the fuck are you trying to say here?

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, all Europeans have rotten teeth, shower once a week, and pay 60% of their income to their "Socialist" govt in taxes, oh, and NONE of the women there shave their legs/armpits?

    The funny thing about generalizations is they can apply to anyone.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:06pm

    Generalising

    Well here's what my dictionary says, which matches precisely my use of the term. The fact that you didn't understand what I plainly said isn't my fault.

    "Generalisation: a general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases:"

    Looks like that education I offered would have come in handy after all.

    Sorry it went over your head, but then it is the domain of the uneducated to decry the benefits of education - because they don't have one you see, its a normal defence mechanism.

    Over and out,

    Annie

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Crazies

    "Do you care to elaborate upon your mystical psychic diagnosis 'Oh Wise and Wonderful Keeper of Humankind's Entire Knowledge Base?"

    Other than to say its usually paranoids who see similarities in what people write on a screen, and try to divine personalities and identities from that.

    "Why would I be paranoid (or even really give two shits about) some random crazy commenter on the internet? I was just making an observation."

    Indeed, why would you bother at all?

    Why would you bother writing what you just wrote?

    Life's an eternal mystery is it not?

    When did your Mommy decide not to argue with crazy my friend? Do you remember?

    "My apologies. I am not very fluent in crazy-talk"

    So naturally you try to get better at it by persisting. Excellent, keep working, you'll become fluent in no time. Just like Mom.

    Excuse me now, I bored with this. I have paying patients to see. Pro-bono is over-rated.

    Annie

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's it. They do apply to everyone because everyone generalizes, even the knot head who said that all generalizations are wrong - itself a generalization of course.

    The point is we all do it, its a natural part of making sense of the world, and if we don't do it we die. Just because some folk can't come to grips with what really is a very simple concept, is no reason for them to become abusive, because we can all do that too.

    So. Generalisations work. Generalisations are good, Generalising is necessary for survival. So the next time some numbskull accuses you of generalizing, as some numbskull accused me of doing, you can remember this conversation and understand that nature abhors a vacuum, and when it finds one, sends all sorts of vacuous nonsense to fill it up.

    Have a great day, forgive me but I'm easily bored with twats (not you, you understand, perish the thought, but then you knew that already). I badly need to go find some real people to talk to. Preferably not Americans because they haven't quite come to terms with the fact that the whole world laughs at them. yet - its probably an EQ thang. I'm glad I'm not privileged to be an American. but then I'm glad I'm not European too or I'd probably have bad teeth, unlike the seppos who have good teeth but always seem to have way too many of them. The Donny Osmond rictus.

    Cheers.

    Annie

     

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  69.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Crazies

    I have paying patients to see.

    I shudder to imagine.

     

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  70.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 30th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They do apply to everyone because everyone generalizes, even the knot head who said that all generalizations are wrong - itself a generalization of course.

    You noticed! I thought maybe that went right over your head. Now, the real question is: did you realize it was a joke?

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

    generalising

    I realize you're a joke, is that the same thing?

    Annie

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Annie, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

    shuddering

    Well, yes, I can see that.

    But then the pictures you conjure up in your mind aren't really my problem. Many of my patients come to see me precisely to change them. Not you of course, I doubt you could afford me, but lots of people have the same problem - you know, th pictures that just arrive and you don't know where they arrive from. But I do, and that's why people come to see me. Not you of course, I doubt you could afford me.

    Gibe my love to your Mom.

    And my condolences.

    Annie

     

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  73.  
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    nasch (profile), Oct 1st, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Re: generalising

    I realize you're a joke, is that the same thing?

    Sadly, no. You fail.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Oct 1st, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Crazies

    I have paying patients to see.


    Umm yeah. Sure you do. You said it on the internet, so it must be true.

    BTW, I'm a French model. Bonjour.

     

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