World Domination Update
Dawn of the Zombie Dust Bunnies
vol. X, iss. i

     “The voice of one crying in the wilderness
                                                 —Matthew 3:3


Quote of the Moment:  “[shade,] I figured out what kind of fruit you are.  Pomegranate.  They’re a pain in the ass, but they’re worth it.” — FireSkunk
Secret Word of the Day:  Copracetic
Site of the Week:  Strawberry Pop-Tarts Blow-Torches
Barbecue Sauce of the Month:  Ol’ Sparky’s Texas Electric Sauce

In this issue:

·  World Domination Reconnaissance Tour
·  Davidian Discovery
·  I.D. & the Extinctions
·  Casper Conspiracy
·  Ask Evil Matt
·  Hedgehog History


Hey, Kids!!!

    Cripes, it’s been crazy of late here at Camp Badass, so much so that sending out Updates has taken a back seat to actual World Domination.  But it’s best to take time out to churn up a quick recap of recent events, just to make sure all of y’all are still in the loop.  After all, being out of the loop brings on bad juju, so try not to be that guy.  Otherwise, one runs the danger of just kicking into a cruise control complacency and thinking everything’s copacetic in our crusade to think for yourselves.  Bullshit: that’s just them lulling you into a false sense of security, so that just when you’re comfy WHAM! with the no-knock warrant and can of gasoline.  

So, lest Branch Floridianism itself fall into such complacency, I took some time off at the tail end of last year to do a quick tour of the front line in the war for your brains.  I needed to check out events outside the Compound first-hand


World Domination Reconnaissance Tour


Leg 1: Rim Rats  

First off, FireSkunk and I cruised up to the Grand Canyon.  Amazingly, I’ve lived in ’Zona now for almost 8 years but have never been there yet.  We took a 3-day weekend to go check it out.

It wasn’t enough time.shade at the Grand Canyon

I’m sure everyone has seen pictures and films of the Canyon, but *nothing* can actually prepare you for having that thing actually there in front of you.  It took me the first day to just acclimated myself, get my brain to accept what I was looking at.  It’s just too vast and panoramic.  One of the Park Rangers said it was common for little children to look at it and ask, “is that a picture?”

The other thing that strikes you—aside from the pure beauty/textured æsthetics of it—is its age.  Just looking at it, you instinctively know that this thing is ancient.  Creationists claim that the Grand Canyon was carved out in the 40 days of the Flood (in 2348BC according to Archbishop Ussher.)  I can bet that anyone who believes that has never actually, physically seen the Grand Canyon.  That, or their Dogma Blinders are industrial strength.


 Leg 2:

 Blowing a Madagasgit
    (or, Man goes in bort.  Bort goes in water.  Squid is in water.  Our squid.)
salt-water bortfish

Seeing as my Frequent Flier Miles for Air Rangoon were about to expire at the end of the year, I did a quick side trip to Madagascar.  Hey, gotta put the world in World Domination, right?  After two days, I found a family of lemurs living in my luggage.   Did some deep sea fishing, too, using coelacanth for bait.  I was hoping to catch a giant squid—you know, one of those huge 50-foot Captain Nemo jobs, right?  No luck, but I did snag a salt-water bortfish.  Quite wisely, I let it go almost as soon as FireSkunk snapped the picture.  Fortunately, it was a baby: (relatively) small and docile, so it posed no real threat.  Any bigger, though, and I might have pulled a Jonah: trapped for three days in the belly of a bort.


Leg 3:  Back to the Beginning of the Branch

I decided to end the tour by spending the Holidays at the original home of Branch Floridianism, the Octopus Garden.  Gotta say: going back to Florida reminded me why I moved out of that state in the first place...

Check this shit out: cops set up random roadblocks down there, ostensibly to detect and detain drunk drivers.  If you get ensnared into one of these and remember, a roadblock pretty much stops everyone here’s what you can expect:

  • Even if you are obviously sober, they run your (and any passengers’) licence(s) to make sure you don’t have any warrants (plus check that the vehicle is legit and in proper working order.) 
  • At the officers’ discretion, if *anything* about you, a passenger, or the vehicle is deemed “suspicious,” you are pulled out of the car and put aside.  The criteria for what is “suspicious” is deliberately vague, and left to the officers’ subjective discretion.  
  • When you are pulled aside, the police preemptively handcuff you, even though you are not (yet) under arrest.
  • After you are secured, they then search you and your vehicle.  If its reached this point, they are considered to have probable cause and don’t need your consent.
  • The cuffs only come off when the officers are satisfied that you are not actually breaking any laws.

How’s that for civil rights violations? Southern Hospitality can be summed up in seven words: “Y’all ain’t from around here, are ya...”

Fortunately that didn’t happen to me while I was down there, but it has happened to several people I know, all of whom personally gave me similar stories.  I’m still trying to find out if this is just a Martin County phenomenon, or if such gestapo garbage goes on state-wide.  Whichever, it is happening, and that’s not even the worst example of whats going on.

Check this shit out (Part 2):  My friend Chip got arrested and worked over for speeding.

Now, for those who don’t know Chip, or have forgotten his infamous war cry of “I have no testicles or fat! let me put him in perspective...   Chip once went in to Publix to buy just a pound of hamburger, bottle of ketchup, and a 4-roll thing of toilet paper... and with a straight face asks the cashier do you think this is the right amount of toilet paper for this amount of food? 

With me on him?  Good; so anyway, it played out like this...

Chip was driving a drunk friend home.  Chip was sober, which was why he was driving.  Theyre on Federal Highway, where the speed limit is 55.  He was going about 10 miles over the limit when Flashing Lights nabbed him from behind.  Rather than get the more traditional ticket for doing a few miles over the posted, the police to tell Chip they are going to arrest him for the offense.  Chip protests at this bizarre breach of protocol.  The police decide that since he isnt cooperating, he is resisting arrest.  And they reacted accordingly.  Chip’s drunk buddy got off the lighter of the two: he just got zapped 5 times with a tazer.  Chip himself got treated to a double dose of pummeling: after police pwned him on the Highway, they take him in to the detention center where he is promptly worked over again by the Law.  During this session, he is slammed into a wall face first, which breaks his jaw.  The damage is so bad that they take him to the emergency room.  The doctor who set his jaw couldn’t believe all he had done to deserve this was a 10 mph traffic violation.  I can just see Chip explaining this to the doctor through clenched teeth and a dead-pan expression: “I was speeding.”  The cuffs never came off the whole time the doctor fixed him up. 

Scary post-coda to this story: when Chip got out, he talked to several lawyers about it.  No one would touch the case, apparently because police brutality is common enough that there is the equivalent to legal precedent allowing it.  Like I said, none of the lawyers would touch it with a 10-foot gavel.

Again, I don’t know if this is a state-wide problem, or just a Martin County affair.  Either way, what do you expect from a state run by Dubya’s brother?


Leg 4I finally get back home to find...  no one!

tumbleweeds blowing by the CompoundSo the Cyber-Compound’s been all but empty of late.  saint is still up at Miskatonic University, where a faculty shake-up is in the works and he can’t afford to skip town without tenure.  (((allegedly, the then-current Dean ate too much tainted cheese one night—obviously ignoring Evil Matt’s advice on how to know when blue cheese has gone bad.)

Speaking of Evil Matt, I’m not sure where he is, either; seems I misplaced his urn during a spurt of spontaneous winter-cleaning.  I thought he was in the Conservatory with the Candlestick, but no sign of him there when I had to ask Evil Matt about guts vs. balls.  I think I found him in the Library with the Lead Pipe while I was looking up a PKD reference.  Later I saw him briefly in the Tent (with the Lamp) but lost track of him after that, and he’s again off the radar altogether except when answering email.


In other news...


Davidian Discovery

It had to happen eventually: the Branch Davidians have found the Branch Floridians.  

First of all, yes, they’re still around.  After all, not all of them were in Waco that fateful day.  Admittedly, they say it’s just not the same with out Koresh around, but the crash ’n’ burn the main group experienced 13 years ago doesn’t diminish David’s message, it seems.  The ’Net is as good a place as any to relegate them to, especially with their remnant scattered to the four corners like so much ash blown by a hot Texas plains wind.  Indeed, I discussed their Net presence a few volumes ago with the exposé (nyuk nyuk) that some wag was running a gay porn site at  Mercifully, that’s not to be mistaken for the real Branch Davidians over at  Aside from SevenSeals, there are a number of other, minor sites they meet at on-line.

Back in December, I noticed some odd traffic on the Cyber-Compound server logs, and for once it wasn’t some .gif-lifting nitwit from MySpace hot-linking one of my hedgehog graphics.  Intrigued, I followed the referring .url to see who/what was sending people out to the Compound’s Front Gate, and spent the rest of the session laughing my ass off.  Turned out it was from The Mt. Carmel Discussion Board.  I’ll spare you a click and just reprint the thread (don’t worry, it’s short):


  Look at this website

Posted by Stephanie on December 18, 2005, 8:55 am

   what the...

Posted by Wendi on December 18, 2005, 11:49 pm,

wierd... very, very wierd... HOW do you find this stufF?????
  Re: what the...

Posted by dan on December 19, 2005, 12:22 am ?

Wait....I know....

"Seek and ye shall find....."

  Re: what the...

Posted by Stephanie on December 19, 2005, 7:29 am

By a Lot of searching.
  Who runs the site?

Posted by Rochelle on December 20, 2005, 5:01 pm

Who runs the site, anyway? Any particular names? (i.e., avowed enemies of this and/or similar groups--sounds like it).
  It reads like an elaborate series of inside jokes

Posted by Wendi on December 20, 2005, 5:43 pm

Look around the site. It has almost nothing to do with any of this, though there are sections where faith is discussed and it becomes obvious that the site creator has done extensive research into David's message. I think it is someone with *way* too much time on their hands and a twisted sense of humor.
  Re: It reads like an elaborate series of inside jokes

Posted by Rochelle on December 20, 2005, 6:05 pm

Whew!! What a relief! I thought it might almost be something dangerous! 
  Re: It reads like an elaborate series of inside jokes

Posted by Stephanie on December 21, 2005, 2:34 pm

I agree Wendi. 

Anyway, I don’t know if they spent enough time on the site to see my thoughts on Koresh, but at least I’m glad that one of them was able to figure out that this was “an elaborate series of inside jokes.”   They also didn’t seem offended, so I’ll take the barb about being “someone with *way* too much time on [my] hands and a twisted sense of humor” in good faith.

I was saddened by the penultimate comment, that “ might almost be something dangerous.”   

This site is about *thinking for yourself* and that is dangerous!

Which is why we’re here to help.


        ...speaking of people we’re helping...


New Recruits

It may be a coincidence, but right after the PATRIOT Act got renewed, we started getting requests for membership at a crazy rate.  A few of them even stuck around after the Infamous 13 Questions with Evil Matt, and of course, far be it from me to refuse help to anyone claiming to think for themselves.  How’s about everybody giving a hearty, heart-warming howdy! to our latest initiates, and .

Duck the Anser joins us from Australia, and yes, he specifically excludes the “w” from his name.  Just goes to show that even Down Under, they don’t like W.  He’ll be our third person on the Aussie continent, along with Setablaze and the recently-relocated Kiwi.

Cowboy Justice joins us as our Bronx Liaison, and glad to say, hes down with the spud gun.  Well grant him the rank of tubersniper as soon as a target splashes back and to the left.



Unintelligent Design



It’s no secret that the Brain Police run both the Christian Right and the Republican Party, and have cross-bread (grafted?) them into some unholy symbiotic mutant creature.  While saint sees this binding hybrid through a Faust analogy, I like the biology motif: the C'Right are the brain cells, and the R'Party are the drones that carry out the orders.  The drill is quite simple: in exchange for a large block of votes, the Republicans agreed to start slipping in blatantly Christian moral legislature.  This sinister quid pro quo system is nothing new.  A little less than a century ago they pulled this same shit to get the vastly unpopular Prohibition passed into national law.  And they’re still at it now.

Of course, their agenda goes beyond enforced moral codes.  To get said codes to take hold, they need to change (or control) everyone’s information and reference points to ones they approve of.  Schools are a great place to start such reeducation.  Anyone remember how right after Reagan got elected, a lot of cases started appearing in court where Creationists wanted Genesis taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution?  At the very least, they insisted on equal time in science classes.  Curiously, they made no goodwill move to also allow equal time for evolution to be taught along with Creationism in their own private schools.

Fortunately, their attempts to displace evolution —and other sciences such as geology, astronomy, etc.— failed.  Defeated but determined to try again, they retreated to lick their wounds and rethink their strategy.  They realized a blatant frontal assault would not work.  One obvious error was their overtness—admit it, they were about as subtle as blow to the head with a brick of limburger.  Obviously, they would need a more stealthy entrance.  So they decided to try removing any mention of God or the Bible. 

The result was a refinement of their Creationist pill into more palatable, politically correct presentation on the origin of life.  They call “Intelligent Design,” or more , ID.

Monsters! Monsters from the ID!

“Monsters! Monsters from the ID!”

  Intelligent Design says that “life” is too intricate and complex to have started on its own, let alone end up with what we have now, so there must have been some sort of sentient craftsman at work.  ID meticulously avoids identifying the “Designer.”  In theory, it could be anything from aliens to time travelers to a giant Flying Spaghetti Monster.  However, if you ask them, ID champions will quickly tell you there is no evidence for the existence of E.T.s or F.S.M.s (or even B.F.M.s) so the Designer is most likely—if not must be—God.

I should actually digress for a second and say that in principal, I have no problem with the basic concept of Intelligent Design.  Admittedly, I’m swayed by the data backing up Evolution—though much of my bias comes from my mom, Sisbooomba, who teaches middle school biology.  However, I’m also inclined to believe that us humans being the end product of evolution is so improbable a lottery that it likely required some Unseen Puppeteer here and there to get this outcome.  That branch of thought is known as theistic evolution, which I consider to be a kindred spirit of ID.  The two are compatible, so in a sense, I am an ID supporter.  

That right there should be your flag that something’s wrong: I agree with it.  

It should also be obvious that ID is designed to be intentionally vague and play well with other systems.  However, one system in particular seems to be the most homogeneous with it, and it smells like a brick of limburger.  

ID is thinly disguised and stripped down Creationism, and was calculatedly crafted as a Trojan Horse to lay the groundwork for a larger assault later on.   

The Conspiracy

The main mover and shaker pimping ID to the public is the Discovery Institute.  They are self-proclaimed Creationists: new members must sign an affirmation acknowledging the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible, specifically including the Genesis Creation account.  High on the Institute’s self-professed agenda is getting evolution out of classrooms, to be replaced by a more Judeo-Christian account of how life started and got to where it is now. 

One of the tentacles of the Discovery Institute is the Center for Science and Culture.  A fundraising memo has surfaced from them that reads like a non-sarcastic version of everything Ive just said about ID and the fiends behind it.  The memo outlines their intention, and strategy to achieve it, in no uncertain terms.  It has become known as the Wedge Document, after its grand scheme to use ID as the initial wedge in to our nation’s schools.  It is unclear how the document came to be public; most accounts have it as “leaked” from a fund raiser, but Discovery Institute co-founder Stephen Meyer has implied that it was stolen from the Institute’s offices.

Curiously, and tellingly, no one from the Discovery Institute has denied the authenticity or accuracy of the document.  They merely say it was a private memo not meant for public consumption.

But is ID really all that bad?

As they would have it, yeah, it is.

There are many reasons why ID fails , but I’ll just pick one, and (rather appropriately) beat it to death.  

The crew who came up with Intelligent Design were so focused on the beginning of life that they didn’t think about what their theory implied for the end of life.  This is also one of the great failings of Creationism: neither address extinction.  What sort of Intelligent Designer would allowor even intentionally causeits creations to die off entirely?  This has happened, and on numerous occasions.  Indeed, it is happening now; last I knew the extinction rate on this planet was about 35,000 species a year.   That’s roughly 100 a day, or 1 every 15 minutes.  And you will never see these things again.

This is not a new phenomenon.  Per the American Museum of Natural History, 99.9% of of all species of plants, animals, and insects that have ever lived are now extinct. 

Now it’s not fair to blame the Intelligent Designer for the death of the dodo; that was our (and rats’) fault.  But dinosaurs...  that was a meteor from the heavens.  What did the dinosaurs do to deserve that?

I am unaware of the Bible containing any stories of extinction, except perhaps on a tribal level.  Those don’t count, though, because even if a tribe of people were killed, other people remained.  So no species were completely taken out.  Indeed, the closest to a mass extinction event was the Flood, and God made sure a pair of everything survived.  [[[I’m not sure about plants, though I guess seeds could float.  And I’ll try not to think about how, if the entire world were covered with rain water, all those salt water fish could survive that fresh water & vice versa.]]]

Anyway, God has shown He would not permit an entire species to die out, so the hard fact from the fossil layer that there once were creatures that are not around any longer just doesn’t jibe with their ideology.

With the exception of one semi-sane Jehovah’s Witness I met (see the dino-hoax article) Creationists grudgingly acknowledge that dinosaurs did once exist.  A few will say that they are still around, hidden in the jungles of Africa and such, but otherwise they all admit that the dinosaurs are no more.  

As a direct result of that giant meteor hit the Yucatan, about 30% of all life on this planet—and certainly the most “developed” and dominant forms—died out forever.

That’s not even the most drastic extinction event.  250 million years ago, 90% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial ones extinguished existence for reasons unknown.  Another meteor?  A bad-ass ice age?  Time-travelers with a tub of ranch dressing?  Scientists are still debating, but whatever the case or the cause, the most dominant and complex things left on Earth afterwards were fungi.

Man was obviously not around at these times, so there’s only one other Culprit.  How intelligent is this Intelligent Designer if its system keeps collapsing like that?  Can an ID allow for accidents of this magnitude?  Or are extinctions even an accident?  It almost leaves the impression of someone unsatisfied with their results, wiping the board, and starting over.  This darkly harkens to that staple of Gnostic thought, where God outsourced the actual Creation details to an underling who was, by various accounts/schools, either incompetent, insane, or even evil.

Do ID proponents advocate teaching that aspect of their system?  They are suspiciously silent on it.  Maybe they’re hoping no one will notice.

My guess is that if you’re swallowing the ID sinker in the first place, you won’t think too hard about it.  Then again, remember what I once said about how you are being fished for by the Brain Police?  Same case: ID is the bait, and the BP are what’s behind the reel.

And speaking of Brain Police Creationists... 

Is it any surprise that a huge supporter of ID is GWB?   He evaded the question on whether he himself was a Creationist, but did weigh in on both the Evolution/Creation and Evolution/ID debates with the same rehearsed sound-byte: “I think they should teach the controversy.”

Here again we see the hypocrisy of the movement.  There are controversies and competing theories within the ID and Creationist camps themselves, so should all of them get lip service at least?

For instance, there are two creation tales in Genesis, and they contradict each other.  Evil Matt had an interesting commentary on this, but here’s a quick & simple example:


First Version [chapter 1]

Birds are created on the 5th day [1:20-23] and then man is created after them on the 6th day [1:26-31]


Second Version [chapter 2]

Man is created first [2:7] and then birds are created after man [2:19]


So which is it that you wish to teach?  

But why stop there?  Using a literal reading of the Bible, one can argue that the universe is Geocentric.  After all, the Earth was created first, and then the universe around it. 


The Earth is also fixed <established> that it cannot be moved.

—Psalm 93:1


This is at direct odds with the conventional physics and astronomy taught in contemporary high school science, and there are those who still claim the Catholic Church got it right the first time with Galileo.  For a “fun” site championing Biblical Geocentrism, check out

So you see my point: is this another “controversy” we want taught?  Who decides where the line is drawn? 

Lawmakers do, and if y’all will recall the preramble to this rant, those same lawmakers are infested with that parasitic symbiot mutant of the Republican Party and Christian Right.

Maybe we should start calling the beast the “Chrispublican Paright.”



<saint’s 2 cents>

My experience with Creationists has been that they hate (and are afraid of) evolution not so much because of factual conflicts with the Bible, but because of the implications.  The Bible is clear that God had a plan for man from almost Day One, but evolution suggests a random, meandering course of human development--almost as if God didnt care.  Besides, suggesting that humans were not always humans is so... unsavoryMost prigs see themselves as above the animals, but evolution knocks them off their soapbox to the level of the other beasts.  If man evolved from a lower form, and all such lower forms can ultimately be traced back to the same sources, then man is nothing unique or special.  A central tenet of Judaism (and thus Christianity) is that mankind is the chosen, favored species of God.  They view evolution as undermining this. 

Ironically this mindset completely overlooks their own scripture:


As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 

Ecclesiastes 3:18-19


</saint’s 2 cents>



Casper Conspiracy

  brazenly .gif-lifted image of Casper

Okay, so y’all know Casper the Friendly Ghost, right?  Actually, if you’re under 30 it’s more likely that you just know of Casper.  He’s been out of print for decades, but back in his time he was pretty popular.  I never saw the appeal, but that’s just my subjectivity.  

In retrospect, Casper was a pretty politically incorrect cartoon.  Aside from the fact that his best friend (among the still-living) was a cute young witch in a red jumper suit, there is the unaddressed premise of the whole show: Casper’s nature.  

To be a ghost, you have to have died.  Two things that to my knowledge have never been addressed are who was Casper when he was alive, and how did Casper die?

Well, I think I have the answers.

Although the Casper series started off in the ’40s as animated shorts, Harvey Comics bought the name a decade later, gave him a minor make-over, and produced the Casper that comes to mind for most people.  But Casper wasn’t the only item in the Harvey catalogue; the same illustrators that drew Casper also did Richie Rich.

side by sideThey’re the same person.  Here’s an overlay:    :overlay"

You might even say it’s a dead on match...

Although it would be easy enough to dismiss this (ahem) similarity as simply lazy artists using the same template for both cartoons, I think the evidence speaks for itself:  Richie Rich died and became Casper the Ghost.

interesting side note

Another title Harvey Comics ran at the time was Hot Stuff.  I’d never heard of him until I started looking into this.  Apparently he was a mischievous imp or baby devil.


See more similarities, kids?  But the age is wrong (unless Richie is wearing diapers under those blue sports pants) so I’ll opt that maybe Hot Stuff was Richie’s young brother (dead and in Hell) whom Richie killed to lock out inheritance competition.  

but i digress

Anyway: Richie Rich died and became Casper the Friendly Ghost.

I think I know how he died, too.

Richie Rich motorcade route past the Bank Depository


Richie was out for a drive in one of his limos (Cadbury behind the wheel, no doubt) and got bushwhacked when he passed the Bank Depository.  I have reason to believe it was has arch nemesis, Reggie Van Dough, in the Grassy Knoll.

Here’s the best proof of this: as a ghost, Casper is always drawn front-on, and usually from slightly to the right.  You will never see a pic of the back of his head, because it is a gaping exit wound.

Tangential Speculation

Although the evidence suggests Reggie as the sniper, it is worth mentioning that Scrooge McDuck’s alibi for that fateful day (home swimming in the money vault) has been thoroughly disproven by J.A. Webbortman.  In his 103-volume manifesto on the topic, he places McDuck in the Bank Duckpository (duck depository?) where police found some type of bird’s nest on the 6th-floor corner.  In the nest was a half-eaten haggis, and what police presumed were pigeon feathers.  (Webbortman’s Coup d’etat in Richville also contains numerous overlays of the Three Tramps and the Beagle Boys, alleging they’re one in the same, but I for one think that’s pushing it too far.)


Ask Evil Matt

The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.

Q:  Why are flammable and inflammable synonyms?  Coherent and incoherent are opposites, valid and invalid are opposites, etc.

A:  “In” has two meanings in Latin: a negative prefix, and a preposition similar to that used in English.  With the case of inflammable, the “in” is based on the preposition, ‘to enter into [a state of]’.  I agree: it’s stupid and confusing. 

Q:  In terms of "bravery," what is the difference between having "guts" and having "balls"?

A:  This is best answered by example.

Guts: you arrive home after a late night with the guys.  Your wife brandishes a broom at you.  You ask, “are you still cleaning, or flying off somewhere?”

Balls: you arrive home after a late night with the guys.  You smell of beer and perfume; there is lipstick on your chin.  You slap your wife on the ass and say “You’re next!”

Q:  What is the etymology of the name Marvin?

A:  This is not known with certainty, and there are several competing theories.  As I am of Welsh heritage, I shall pass on that one.  “Marvin” is most likely an Anglicization of the Welsh Gaelic “Mervin,” meaning “sea friend.”  Another variant of Mervin is Merlin, which means “sea fortress.”  The most famous Merlin was King Arthur’s magician mentor.  Curiously, in the original (Welsh) editions of the Arthurian Tales, Merlin’s name was Myrddin, but when they were first translated into English by Geoffrey of Monmouth, he changed the spelling (and forever set the trend) to the more familiar Merlin because he thought it was too close to the French word merde.

Q:  note to self/e.m. — follow-up to gay porn piece: what’s up with that site currently?  who owns it?

A:  The gay porn is gone; in its place is a generic place-holder with links to loosely-related paid advertising.  If the site were run by the real Branch Davidians, it would have a redirect to, which is the official Davidian home on the Web. (note no “s”) redirects to, so if were legit it would, too.  The name’s obviously being squat on, in this case by a holding company with a P.O. the Cayman Islands called NAI (Name Administration, Inc.)   Compare (plus extension variants) and (and variants) which are registered to New Light Publications in Smith’s Creek, Michigan [as opposed to the New Light Publications in New Delhi, India, which publishes such titles as “Miracles of Urine Therapy.”]  

As an editorial aside, I am outraged at this.  NAI is speculating in domain parking: they buy up names they think might get used eventually, and sell it (at a profit) to someone who legitimately wants the name.  I’m not sure I like or buy this “snooze you loose but I’ll sell ya sloppy seconds” defense/justification commonly offered for such schemes, but NAI makes a specific claim about its practices on it’s F.A.Q. (emphasis added):

  Name Administration Inc. operates a broad network of generic websites based on brief, popular and generically meaningful terms that have descriptive meaning to many people. We do NOT try to exploit proprietary intellectual property, knowingly administer (or purchase) inherently distinctive names or names that have "exclusive value" to a sole distinctive entity.  

I think it’s safe to say they’ve violated this by scooping up the unique name used exclusively in reference to a distinct group that predates them by over 75 years.  Also, said group is a not-for-profit church, so there is no commercial potential for use of the name.

If I were the real Branch Davidians, I’d be peeved that some faceless mercenary speculator had squatted on my identity and was selling it to the highest bidder.  Then again, I don’t know what their reaction to this is.

I’ll bet it’s a lot better than when someone was running gay porn.


Got a question?  .


    And finally,,,

The Hedgehog Corner

By Harriet the Hedgehog



Hedgehogs in History

(part 4)


Tomorrow is March, which is national Hedgehog History Month.  To celebrate, we continue our review of famous hedgehogs and their impact on civilization...

When Washington crossed the Delaware, a hedgehog named Alistar McPrickle was in the boat (seen here startling a rower):

hedgehog crossing the Delaware


Lest we limit hedgehogs to America and forget that they are a worldwide phenomenon, one of the most influential hedgehogs to hold sway in Europe last century was the infamous Il Chuffe.  This was Benito Mussolini’s right-hand ’hog.  Allegedly, the two were so close that Il Chuffe called Mussolini “Bunny toes” in private.   Il Chuffe was the one responsible for getting the trains to run on time.   He was also quite fond of Domenico Scarlatti, and in his private office in Rome had a nest of shredded sheet music from Scarlatti sonatas.   

Mussolini with infamous hedgehog Il Chuffe


And lastly, a little-known but personal favorite of mine: Spyke, Lady Ectivora, Knibblitt, and The Sniffler, collectively known as Mealieworm.  This was a psychedelic hedgehog barbershop quartet back in the ’60s.  You may remember their brief appearance at Woodstock (taking the stage just when it started raining.) Mealieworm take the satge at Woodstock  Mealieworm later played at the near-by Hogstock Festival, then retired to a hippie hedgehog commune in Big Sur that has often been described as “cult-like.”  In the ’70s they reemerged as a heavy metal outfit called Mealiewürm.  I think I even saw a “where are they now?” on them on a few years ago.  They’re reworking their barbershop angle with a Gregorian Chant motif; sort of a “Gothic Chuff.”




    That’s it for now, folks; and y’all know the drill:


      Trust no one
      and always keep your lighter handy!


© 2006 (X, i)



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