Spam: The Open Window of Culture

Have you ever analysed the pattern of the spam arriving in your mailbox every day? I know, most of us have filters that keep the majority of that junk from bothering us..but some gets through, anyway. I actually have an account that I mostly abandoned years ago, simply because I couldn’t find my mail anymore. Now it is the spam tracking account.

A year or so ago, almost all the spam hitting my account was sexual in content. I really enjoyed it. How many different ways can you spell…well, things I probably ought not type out on here. But you know what I’m talking about. I loved reading though the solicitations for “personal web-cam” sites and contemplating the machinations of various penis-enlargement devices. I sympathised with the plight of the half-dozen or so men who sent me their stories of “sexual malfunction” (which had always been cured with some mystery pill), and grinned at their descriptions of the 36-hour “love marathons” which they now enjoyed. I contemplated the statements that all women wanted a “bigger” man, and wondered if I was alone in my disagreement. I thought about all those other folks on the spammers’ lists, and wondered if they worried about the same things my spammers did.

Continue reading

Change the Constitution?

As a result of the comment thread on another article, I started thinking about Constitutional Amendments. As some of you who have read my other articles may know, I am a big proponent of adhering to the precepts set out in the Constitution. That most important document lays out a pretty good system of governance, particularly because (if strictly followed) it keeps too much power out of the hands of any one person or group of people. Most of the power falls to the states, and what national oversight there must be is divided amongst three equally powerful branches of government. However, hearing folks argue, as I do, that the slow and steady shift in governmental power is “within the bounds of the Constitution”, I am thinking that maybe it is time for a change.

We’ve heard plenty about Constitutional Amendments lately, in the context of trying to “save” the institution of marriage in this country. The concept of using a Constitutional Amendment for the purpose of discrimination is abhorrent to me, but I am not at all opposed to making some changes for the sake of clarifying the nature of our government. The Constitutional Convention was very concerned with creating an executive branch which would not have the power to evolve into a dictatorship. There was much debate at the time as to how to prevent that from happening. However, we now find ourselves in a situation where the executive branch has claimed for itself the power to make laws and ignore laws by using signing statements and executive orders. Our Congress, which was originally envisaged as the only branch with that power, seems disinclined to enforce oversight on a “war-time” President, having already given up its Constitutional power to declare war. The judicial branch is quiet under the weight of “national security”. And the press, specifically protected in the First Amendment due to our founder’s recognition that, even with the checks and balances put in place, the government needed a watchdog, is in increasing jeopardy of being crippled by the same.

Perhaps some clarification is in order. Continue reading